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Israel has rendered 'Mitchell committee' report ineffective, UN committee told

Israel has rendered 'Mitchell committee' report ineffective, UN committee told

The chairman of a United Nations committee monitoring Palestinian rights said today that recommendations put forward by an international fact-finding committee provided a way out of the current impasse, but Israel was blocking their implementation.

Ambassador Ibra Deguène Ka of Senegal told the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People that in theory, both sides had accepted the report, which was produced by a panel headed by former United States Senator George Mitchell. However, the Chairman added, the Government of Israel had rendered the report ineffective in practice, through its insistence on a piecemeal implementation of the recommendations.

The occupying Power, he said, continued to use excessive force, carry out extrajudicial killings of Palestinian activists, and pursue its economic blockade. The occupying Power also refused to freeze settlement expansion and, in general, proceeded with its illegal policies in contravention of UN resolutions and other international legal instruments, he added.

The Chairman stressed that international pressure must be intensified - and international monitoring of the Mitchell report continued - if the parties were ever to disentangle themselves from the current spiral of violence and resume confidence-building measures and meaningful negotiations.

The 25-member Committee was originally established in 1975 to consider and recommend to the General Assembly a programme of implementation designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their rights. Its mandate has since been enlarged to include the convening of expert seminars and non-governmental organization meetings in all regions, with broad participation from members of the international community.