Prepared by

Karen Parker, J.D.
Anne Heindel, J.D.
Adam Branch Humanitarian Law Project/
International Educational Development





The situation in Israel, the Occupied Territories, and Southern Lebanon is several international armed conflicts.


Israel has been at war with its Arab neighbors since its founding in 1948. Through

fighting that year, Israel took control of land earmarked by the United Nations for a Palestinian State. During the 1967 war, Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula (returned to Egypt in 1978), the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem. Jewish settlements began the following year.

A Declaration of Principles was signed on September 13, 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), discussing a transfer of power from Israel to an interim Palestinian authority in the occupied territories. Pursuant to that accord and the interim agreement of 1995 (collectively called the Oslo accords), Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and Jericho in 1994 and a Palestinian police force was established in those areas. Israeli troops have been gradually withdrawing from towns and villages in the West Bank. Yasser Arafat was voted President of the Palestinian areas in January 1996; Hamas boycotted the election. Arafat has announced the outlawing of the military wings of Hamas and the Islamic Jahad organization.

The return of 80% of the city of Hebron to Palestinian rule as called for under the accords was behind schedule in January 1997. In October 1998, Israel and Palestine signed the Wye Agreement, intended to implement the Oslo Accord by creating a timetable for the withdrawal of the Israeli military forces from 13% of the West Bank in return for Palestinian security measures. In November 1998, Israel returned 9% and allowed a Palestinian airport to open in Gaza. In December 1998, the Palestinian National Council agreed to void portions of its Charter calling for the destruction of Israel.

In December 1998, Netanyahu refused to implement the second military withdrawal from the West Bank, claiming that Palestine had failed to live up to its security commitments. This was followed by three weeks of violent protests in the West Bank by Palestinians demanding the release of 750 political prisoners as called for under the Wye Agreement. In November, Israel released 250 people, but 150 were not Palestinian political prisoners. New construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank more than doubled in 1998.

Israel/Southern Lebanon

In military operations aimed at Palestinian armed groups, Israel first seized part of Lebanon in 1978, originally up to the Litani River (in "Operation Litani"). By the end of that year, Israel withdrew to the border area due to international pressure. In 1982, Israel carried out military actions named "Peace for Galilee" which reached as far as Beirut, killing 18,000 and injuring 300,000, mostly civilians. In July 1983, Israel retreated from Beirut to Sidon and south, until by 1985, Israeli forces occupied only the border area. Following the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1989, Israel’s actions in southern Lebanon were directed at the Hizbullah.

In Spring 1996, Israel again attacked Lebanon in the military operation "Grapes of Wrath," bombing as far north as Beirut for 17 days. 300,000 Lebanese fled their homes. 102 civilians were killed at the UN compound in Qana. The April 1996 "Grapes of Wrath" understanding brought an end to this operation with a plan to be jointly monitored by the United States, France, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. However, sporadic attacks continued through 1998 and 1999 in the border area.

Current Situation:

After the election of Prime Minister Ehud Barak in May 1999, negotiations aimed at reaching a final peace agreement with the Palestinians moved forward. The September 1999 Sharm el Sheika accord (Wye II) includes a timetable for three land handovers that would give the Palestinians control over another 11% of the West Bank, the creation of a safe-passage route for Palestinians to cross between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the establishment of a February 13 deadline for creating a framework for a final peace treaty. In January 2000, an agreement was reached to return five percent of the West Bank immediately. Another six percent was due to be returned by the end of the month, but well into February, had not been.

The major issues to be agreed upon for a final peace treaty include the status of Jerusalem, final borders between the two states, the status of 3.5 million Palestinians who have been refugees since the 1948 war, and the status of Jewish settlements. Despite the Palestinians’ insistence that all settlement construction be halted, Barak is allowing previously approved settlements to move forward. He has agreed to temporarily suspend the issuance of new building permits. Barak has said that any final peace agreement will be put to a referendum.

Talks between Israel and Syria (the major political power in Lebanon), broken off in 1996 and frozen during Netanyahu’s administration, began again in December 1999. It is expected that a final agreement would include a complete withdrawal by Israel from the Golan Heights in exchange for security guarantees from Syria regarding the Hizbullah. There are about 17,000 Jewish settlers currently living in the Golan.

Prime Minister Barak also began efforts to withdraw all Israeli troops from southern Lebanon. However, skirmishes at the border continued. For example, in February 2000, fighting flared after Hizbullah guerrillas attacked Israeli troops in Southern Lebanon from a civilian area. In reprisal, Israel bombed three power stations in Lebanon. Even so, Prime Minister Barak claimed that all Israeli soldiers would be "home by July." Withdrawal came earlier, as Israel began pulling out in mid-Spring and villagers began returning in May, 2000. On June 6, 2000, the United Nations Secretary-General verified the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon. Hopes arose that Israel would focus on negotiations with Syria, but the sudden death of Syrian President Assad has again put a pall over the area. At time of writing (June 2000) President Assad’s son appears to be taking over the government, but Assad’s exiled brother is apparently seeking to take over as well.

UN Action:

Middle East peace: UNEF I (11/56-6/67); UNEF II (10/73-7/79); UNTSO (6/48-present).

Golan Heights: UNDOF (6/74-present).

Lebanon: UNOGIL (6/58-12/58); UNIFIL (3/78-present).

SC Res 1300 (5/31/2000).

SC Res 1288 (1/31/2000). SC Res 1276 (11/24/99).

SC Res 1254 (7/30/99). SC Res 1243 (5/27/99).

SC Res 1223 (1/28/99). SC Res 1211 (11/25/98).

SC Res 1188 (7/30/98). SC Res 1169 (5/27/98).

SC Res 1151 (1/30/98). SC Res 1139 (11/21/97).

SC Res 1122 (7/29/97). SC Res 1109 (5/28/97).

SC Res 1095 (1/28/97). SC Res 1081 (11/27/96).

SC Res 1073 (9/28/96). SC Res 1068 (7/30/96).

SC Res 1057 (5/30/96). SC Res 1039 (1/29/96).

SC Res 1024 (11/28/95). SC Res 1006 (7/28/95).

SC Res 996 (5/30/95). SC Res 974 (1/30/95).

SC Res 962 (11/29/94). SC Res 938 (7/28/94).

SC Res 921 (5/26/94). SC Res 904 (3/18/94).

SC Res 895 (1/28/94). SC Res 888 (11/30/93).

SC Res 799 (12/18/92). SC Res 790 (11/25/92).

SC Res 726 (1/6/92). SC Res 756 (5/29/92).

SC Res 726 (1/6/92). SC Res 694 (1991).

SC Res 681 (1990). SC Res 673 (1990).

SC Res 672 (1990). SC Res 641 (1989).

SC Res 636 (1989). SC Res 608 (1988).

SC Res 607 (1988). SC Res 605 (1987).

SC Res 592 (1986). SC Res 509 (1982).

SC Res 497 (1981). SC Res 478 (1980).

SC Res 476 (1980). SC Res 471 (1980).

SC Res 465 (1980). SC Res 446 (1979).

SC Res 425 (1978). SC Res 338 (1973).

SC Res 298 (1971). SC Res 267 (1969).

SC Res 252 (1968). SC Res 242 (1967).

GA Res 54/230 (12/22/99).

GA Res 54/152 (12/17/99). GA Res 54/116 (12/15/99).

GA Res 54/80 (12/6/99). GA Res 54/79 (12/6/99).

GA Res 54/78 (12/6/99). GA Res 54/77 (12/6/99).

GA Res 54/76 (12/6/99). GA Res 54/75 (12/6/99).

GA Res 54/74 (12/6/99). GA Res 54/73 (12/6/99).

GA Res 54/72 (12/6/99). GA Res 54/71 (12/6/99).

GA Res 54/70 (12/6/99). GA Res 54/69 (12/6/99).

GA Res 54/42 (12/1/99).

GA Res 54/41 (12/1/99). GA Res 54/40 (12/1/99).

GA Res 54/39 (12/1/99). GA Res 54/38 (12/1/99).

GA Res 54/37 (12/1/99). GA Res 53/57 (12/3/98).

GA Res 53/56 (12/3/98). GA Res 53/55 (12/3/98).

GA Res 53/54 (12/3/98). GA Res 53/38 (12/2/98).

GA Res 53/37 (12/2/98). GA Res 52/169D (12/16/97).

GA Res 52/170 (12/16/97). GA Res 52/68 (12/10/97).

GA Res 52/67 (12/10/97). GA Res 52/66 (12/10/97).

GA Res 52/65 (12/10/97). GA Res 52/64 (12/10/97).

GA Res 52/62 (12/10/97). GA Res 52/57 (12/10/97).

GA Res 52/54 (12/9/97). GA Res 52/53 (12/9/97).

GA Res 52/52 (12/9/97). GA Res 51/135 (12/13/96).

GA Res 51/23 (12/12/96). GA Res 51/26 (12/12/96).

GA Res 51/82 (2/26/97). GA Res 51/150 (2/4/97).

GA Res 50/140 (12/21/95). GA Res 50/129 (12/20/95).

GA Res 50/29 (12/6/95). GA Res 50/22 (12/4/95).

GA Res 50/21 (12/4/95). GA Res 49/149 (12/23/94).

GA Res 49/132 (12/19/94). GA Res 49/88 (12/16/94).

GA Res 49/87 (12/16/94). GA Res 49/62 (12/14/94).

GA Res 49/36 (12/9/94). GA Res 48/450 (12/21/93).

GA Res 48/213 (12/21/93). GA Res 48/212 (12/21/93).

GA Res 48/158 (12/20/93). GA Res 48/59 (12/14/93).

GA Res 48/58 (12/14/93). GA Res 48/41 (12/10/93).

GA Res 48/40 (12/10/93). GA Res 47/172 (12/22/92).

GA Res 47/170 (12/22/92). GA Res 47/70 (12/14/92).

GA Res 47/69 (12/14/92). GA Res 47/64 (12/11/92).

GA Res 47/63 A (12/11/92). GA Res 47/63 B (12/11/92).

GA Res 47/64 D (12/11/92). GA Res 47/55 (12/9/92).

GA Res 46/201 (12/20/91). GA Res 46/199 (12/20/91).

GA Res 46/162 (12/19/91). GA Res 46/82 (12/16/91).

GA Res 46/76 (12/11/91). GA Res 46/75 (12/11/91).

GA Res 46/74 (12/11/91). GA Res 46/47 (12/9/91).

GA Res 46/46 (12/9/91). GA Res 46/39 (12/6/91).

GA Res 45/183 (12/21/90). GA Res 45/74 F (12/11/90).

GA Res 45/67 A (12/6/90). GA Res 45/63 (12/4/90).

GA Res 44/41 A (12/6/89). GA Res 44/2 (10/6/89).

GA Res 43/175 A (12/15/88). GA Res 43/58 F (12/6/88).

GA Res 43/21 (11/3/88). GA Res 42/160 F (12/8/87).

GA Res 42/66 A (12/2/87). GA Res 41/63 F (12/3/86).

GA Res 41/43 A (12/2/86). GA Res 40/161 F (12/16/85).

GA Res 40/96 A (12/2/85). GA Res 39/223 (12/18/84).

GA Res 39/95 F (12/14/84). GA Res 39/49 (12/11/84).

GA Res 38/79 F (12/15/83). GA Res 38/58 (12/13/83).

GA Res 37/88 E (12/10/82). GA Res ES-7/4 (4/28/82).

GA Res ES-9/1 (2/5/82). GA Res 36/226 B (12/17/81).

GA Res 36/120 (12/10/81). GA Res 35/169 (12/15/80).

GA Res ES-7/2 (7/29/80). GA Res 34/65 A (11/29/79).

GA Res 34/65 B (11/29/79). GA Res 34/65 C (12/12/79).

GA Res 34/65 D (12/12/79). GA Res 33/28 (11/24/78).

GA Res 32/40 (12/2/77). GA Res 31/20 (11/24/76).

GA Res 3414 (XXX) (1975). GA Res 3376 (XXX) (1975).

GA Res 3375 (XXX) (1975). GA Res 3236 (XXIX) (1974).

GA Res 194 (III) (1948). GA Res 181 (II) (1947).

Comm Res 2000/8 (Occupied Terr.). Comm Res 2000/7 (Golan).

Comm Res 2000/6 (Occupied Terr.). Comm Res 2000/4 (Palestine).

Comm Res 2000/16 (Lebanon). Comm Res 1999/7 (Occupied Terr.).

Comm Res 1999/6 (Golan). Comm Res 1999/55 (Palestine).

Comm Res 1999/5 (Occupied Terr.). Comm Res 1999/12 (Lebanon).

Comm Res 1998/62 (Lebanon). Comm Res 1998/4 (Palestine).

Comm Res 1998/3 (Settlements). Comm Res 1998/2 (Golan).

Comm Res 1998/1 (Occupied Terr.). Comm Res 1997/6. (ME peace).

Comm Res 1997/4. (Palestine). Comm Res 1997/3. (Occupied Terr.).

Comm Res 1997/2. (Golan). Comm Res 1997/1. (Occupied Terr.).

Comm Res 1996/68. (Lebanon). Comm Res 1996/7. (ME peace).

Comm Res 1996/5. (Palestine). Comm Res 1996/4. (Occupied Terr.).

Comm Res 1996/3. (Occupied Terr.). Comm Res 1996/2. (Golan).

Comm Res 1995/67. Comm Res 1995/6.

Comm Res 1995/4. Comm Res 1995/3.

Comm Res 1995/2. Comm Res 1995/1.

Comm Res 1994/83. Comm Res 1994/5.

Comm Res 1994/4. Comm Res 1994/3.

Comm Res 1994/2. Comm Res 1994/1.

Comm Res 1993/67. Comm Res 1993/4.

Comm Res 1993/3. Comm Res 1993/2.

Comm Res 1993/1. Comm Dec 1992/104.

Comm Res 1992/70. Comm Res 1992/3.

Comm Res 1992/2. Comm Res 1992/1.

Comm Res 1991/66. Comm Res 1991/3.

Comm Res 1991/2. Comm Res 1991/1.

Comm Res 1990/54. Comm Res 1990/3.

Comm Res 1990/1.

Sub-Comm Res 1996/6. Sub-Comm Res 1996/6 (Middle East).

Sub-Comm Res 1995/9. Sub-Comm Res 1995/2.

Sub-Comm Res 1994/13. Sub-Comm Dec. 1994/112.

Sub-Comm Res 1993/15. Sub-Comm Res 1992/10.

Sub-Comm Res 1991/38. Sub-Comm Res 1991/6.

Rpt S-G (S/2000/28). Rpt S-G (S/2000/460).

Rpt S-G (S/2000/459). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/2000/22 & Add.1).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/2000/24). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/2000/23).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/2000/28). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/2000/13).

Rpt S-G (S/2000/575). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1999/26).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1999/23). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1999/22).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1999/10). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1999/21).

Rpt S-G (S/1999/807). Rpt S-G (S/1999/61).

Rpt S-G (S/1998/652). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1998/56).

Rpt S-G (S/1998/53). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1998/30).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1998/20). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1998/18).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1996/55). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1996/26).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1996/21). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1996/19).

Rpt S-G (S/1995/952). Rpt S-G (S/1995/66).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1995/63). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1995/28).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1995/22). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1995/21.)

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1995/20). Rpt S-G (A/48/607).

Rpt S-G (A/48/188). Rpt S-G (S/1994/587).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1994/22). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1994/12).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1993/44). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1993/17).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1993/12). Rpt S-G (S/26111).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1992/36). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1992/11).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1992/6). Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1989/4).

Rpt S-G (E/CN.4/1988/8). Rpt S-G (A/46/263-E/1991/88).

Rpt S-G (E/1991/88 & Adds.1,2). Rpt S-G (S/19443).

Rpt S-G (S/21919 & Corr.1). Rpt S-G (S/22472).

Rpt S-G (A/46/586). Rpt S-G (A/46/623-S/23204).

Rpt S-G (A/46/652-S/23225).

Reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories:

A/51/131;A/50/660; A/50/606; A/50/463; A/50/282; A/50/170; A/49/620; A/49/600; A/49/599; A/49/511; A/49/172; A/49/67; A/48/647; A/48/557; A/48/543; A/48/542; A/48/541; A/48/540; A/48/539; A/48/278; A/48/96; A/48/41; A/47/262; A/47/76; A/46/522; A/46/283; A/46/65; A/45/576.

Report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

A/46/35; A/49/35.

Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights, Rpt of Int’l Conference on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 29 August - 7 September 1983 (UN Sales No. E.83.I.21).

Reports of the Special Rapporteurs on the Human Rights Situation in the Palestinian Territory Occupied Since 1967:

Rene Felber: E/CN.4/1994/14; E/CN.4/1995/19.

Hannu Halinen: E/CN.4/1996/18; E/CN.4/1997/16; E/CN.4/1998/17; E/CN.4/1999/24.

Giorgio Giacomelli: E/CN.4/2000/25.

Reports of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances:

E/CN.4/1990/13; E/CN.4/1991/20; E/CN.4/1992/18; E/CN.4/1993/25; E/CN.4/1994/26; E/CN.4/1995/36; E/CN.4/1996/38; E/CN.4/1997/34/; E/CN.4/1998/43; E/CN.4/1999/62.

Reports of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention:

E/CN.4/1993/24; E/CN.4/1994/27; E/CN.4/1995/31 & Add.2; E/CN.4/1996/40/Add.1; E/CN.4/1997/4/Add.1, Dec. Nos. 16, 17, 18, 24/1996 (Palestinian Authority); E/CN.4/1999/63 & Add.1; E/CN.4/2000/4 & Add.1.

Reports of the Special Rapporteur on Torture:

P. Kooijmans: E/CN.4/1990/17; E/CN.4/1991/17; E/CN.4/1992/17; E/CN.4/1993/26.

Nigel S. Rodley: E/CN.4/1994/31; E/CN.4/1995/34; E/CN.4/1996/35 & Add.1;

E/CN.4/1997/7 and Add.1, E/CN.4/1998/38 & Add.1; E/CN.4/1999/61; E/CN.4/2000/9.

Reports of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:

S. Amos Wako: E/CN.4/1990/22; E/CN.4/1991/36; E/CN.4/1992/30.

Bacre Waly N’diaye: E/CN.4/1993/46; E/CN.4/1994/7; E/CN.4/1995/61; E/CN.4/1996/4; E/CN.4/1997/60 & Add.1; E/CN.4/1998/68 & Add.1.

Asma Jahangir: E/CN.4/1999/39 & Add.1; E/CN.4/2000/3 & Add.1.

Reports of the Special Rapporteur on the Elimination of Religious Intolerance:

Angelo Vidal d’Almeida Ribeiro: E/CN.4/1991/56.

Abdelfattah Amor: E/CN.4/1995/91; E/CN.4/2000/65.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers:

Param Cumaraswamy: E/CN.4/2000/61.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression:

Abid Hussain: E/CN.4/2000/63.

Report of Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women:

Radhika Coomaraswamy: E/CN.4/2000/68/Add.4.

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