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Arafat Attacks Israel Before U.N. Panel

February 19, 1988|Associated Press

GENEVA — PLO leader Yasser Arafat made his debut before the U.N. Human Rights Commission today and likened Israeli practices in the occupied territories to the Nazi extermination campaign.

Arafat also called for the formation of an "international force" to protect Palestinian residents.

The United States, he said, is encouraging Israel to "carry on with aggression and crimes" by giving the Jewish state "unlimited support."

The U.S. delegation left the crowded conference hall before Arafat's speech began.

A member of the delegation, Marshall Breger, declined to call it a walkout, saying only: "We are not present."

The seat of the Israeli delegate, who has observer status in the 43-nation commission, remained empty. The delegate, Ambassador Pinhas Eliav, said in a press statement that Arafat's presence at the commission "makes a mockery of everything that body stands for."

In his speech, Arafat said the Israeli methods of dealing with the recent Arab unrest in Gaza and the West Bank are "operations of collective extermination."

He said Israel is carrying out "heinous massacres and crimes" and is "repeating today the same crimes committed against humanity at the hands of the Fascists and the Nazis."

Arafat said more than 120 Palestinians have been killed in the recent waves of unrest and more than 3,000 wounded. In addition, he charged, 7,000 others were held in "six new concentration camps" set up by the Israeli authorities.

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