Press Release (12 August 1994)

A letter on the issue of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) was sent yesterday by the Charge d'affaires, a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, Mr. Muin Shreim, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and the President of the Security Council for the month of August, H.E. Mr. Yuliy M. Vorontsov. The Charge d'affaires, a.i. requested the distribution of the letter as an official document of the United Nations. The text of that letter reads as follows:

Despite repeated requests and insistence by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for the extension of the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), which was established in Hebron on 8 May 1994, the Israeli government has refused to approve extension of the mandate to prolong the stay of the TIPH until its mission is completed.

Although the presence of the observer force clearly helped to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people in Hebron, particularly in the wake of the massacre of 25 February 1994 at Al Ibrahimi Mosque, the suffering and problems persist. The situation in Hebron remains tense, the mosque remains closed and several areas of the city are still off limits. Furthermore, even during the stay of the TIPH, very serious incidents occurred and oppressive measures were taken by both the Israeli army and the illegal settlers against the Palestinian people in Hebron. As such, Israeli refusal to extend the mission of the TIPH violates the spirit of the agreement reached, on 31 March 1994, between the PLO and Israel on this subject and is not in compliance with the provisions of Security Council resolution 904 (1994).

The PLO recalls operative paragraph three of the said resolution, which "calls for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians throughout the occupied territory, including, inter alia, a temporary international or foreign presence." The PLO calls upon the members of the Security Council to encourage the co-sponsors of the peace process to fulfill the request of the Security Council, in operative paragraph four of the resolution, "to undertake the necessary support for the implementation of the above-mentioned measures", in order to avoid any possible violation of human rights by the Occupying Power, which would inflict serious harm on the peace process underway and compound the existing difficulties. We believe that the mission of the TIPH was terminated unfulfilled, and we look forward to the full and speedy implementation of resolution 904 (1994) throughout the occupied territory.