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Words in the News
Wednesday 05 December 2001
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Ariel Sharon
Israel pulls out of conference
Summary: Israel has asked the Swiss government to cancel a conference which seeks to enforce the humanitarian codes of the Fourth Geneva Convention. This report from Emma Jane Kirby:
   
The News Listen  
  The humanitarian codes of the Geneva Convention aim to provide protection for all civilians living in war zones or for those living under military occupation. Although Israel ratified The Fourth Geneva Convention in 1951, it disputes the validity of the Convention in the occupied territories.

It's likely that the state parties attending Wednesday`s one day conference, will express concern about Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories - something Israel claims makes the conference a political one and not one concerned with humanitarian affairs.

The meeting of members of the Convention, which is taking place in Switzerland because of its status as a neutral country, coincides with a dramatic escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians. Yakov Levy, Israel`s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, warned that if the meeting went ahead, it could increase tensions in the Middle East.

EMMA JANE KIRBY, BBC, GENEVA

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  humanitarian codes
guidelines on how to provide help for people in need

 
   
  Geneva Convention
an official international agreement on human rights, originally signed in Geneva, Switzerland

 
   
  war zones
areas of fighting

 
   
  under military occupation
where an army is in control

 
   
  ratified
formally approved

 
   
  disputes the validity of
disagrees with

 
   
  occupied territories
the areas of the West Bank and Gaza which are under Israeli control

 
   
  status
formal position

 
   
  neutral country
a country which does not support either side

 
   
  dramatic escalation
a large increase

 
   
  Read more about this story  
 

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