A PLO envoy read a litany of abuse he blamed on Israeli soldiers in the occupied lands Friday during a U.N. debate that followed U.S. criticism of troops for shooting civilians and destroying homes.
"Have you ever heard, even during the Dark Ages, of the demolition of a family's home because of a stone thrown by a child at occupation troops?" asked M. Nassar Kidwa, the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, during the Security Council session."Have you ever heard of the so-called plastic bullet that settles inside the head, causing total brain damage or brain death, mostly among children?
"Have you ever heard of troops, even when not in so-called danger, being given license to fire at unarmed civilians?"
Israeli Ambassador Johanan Bein replied: "Israel is confronting large-scale rioting and wide-scale violence.
"Gangs of youths who hurl heavy rocks and iron bars at Israelis with very clear intent to kill are not demonstators," he said.
He said Palestinians have thrown gasoline bombs at cars and school buses "burning alive women with babies, innocent families taking vacations, pupils on their way to school."
Speakers from Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Senegal called on Israel to obey the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians during conflict.
The U.N. session was adjourned until Monday with no vote on a resolution.
The PLO has tried since mid-January to draft a resolution condemning the Israeli army, but it has been unable to formulate language that the United States will not veto.
At least 380 Palestinians have been killed in protests since the uprising began in Dec. 1987, and 15 Jews have died in clashes. The activists are trying to chase the Israelis out of the territories seized from Arab neighbors in the 1967 Middle East War.
The PLO and Arab League renewed their efforts this week after the U.S. State Department criticized the Israeli army in a human rights report. The report said the army's tactics caused "many avoidable deaths and injuries."