Members of the non-aligned group at the United Nations drafted a statement on Tuesday (23 December) in support of two expelled West Bank mayors who are on hunger strike in New York.
SV INTERIOR Mayors greeting members of non-aligned group (3 shots)
SV Permanent Observer of Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) Zehdi Terzi speaking in English
SCU Mayor of Halhoul Mohammed Milhem speaking in English.
TERZI: "The meeting expressed its solidarity with the two mayors at present on hunger strike at the United Nations. The meeting condemned Israel's violation of human rights, the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the provisions of the Charter of the U.N. and the principles of international law, as well as Israel's defiance and refusal to carry out the decisions of the Security Council.
TERZI: "The meeting lent its full support for the mayors and the Sharia judge of Hebron, and called upon the Security Council to take all measures to ensure that full implementation of Security Council resolutions 468, 469 and 484."
REPORTER: "How are you feeling today?"
MILHEM:"Fine, no complaints as yesterday."
REPORTER:"Were you surprised that the members of the non-aligned nations came and offered their solidarity?"
MILHEM:"No I was not surprised. The non-aligned countries were always with us, and they have always supported our cause in the United Nations and outside the United Nations. Their visit to us was very expected and natural, and I knew they would be meeting and talking, and they would be visiting and they had some kind of statement to say with regard to us, and in support of us. And in condemning the three SWAPO members in South Africa who were sentenced to death, you see."
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Background: Members of the non-aligned group at the United Nations drafted a statement on Tuesday (23 December) in support of two expelled West Bank mayors who are on hunger strike in New York. Delegates then visited them as an expression of solidarity. The spent about 10 minutes with mayors Fahd Al-Qawasme of Hebron and Mohammed Milhem of Halhoul, who have been staging a sit-in at the U.N., demanding to be allowed to return home. They are alleged by Israel to have incited West Bank residents to violence and were deported in May after six Israelis were killed in an Arab ambush in Hebron. The Security Council has three times called for Israel to allow their return.
SYNOPSIS: The PLO's (Palestine Liberation Organisation) Permanent Representative Zehdi Terzi read the statement to reporters. Later, one of the mayors, Mohammed Milhem, gave his reaction to the non-aligned move.