Amnesty International Wants Rights Observers in Palestinian Territories
Amnesty International said it has called for the deployment of human rights observers in the Palestinian territories as a response to the "grave" situation there.
In a statement received in Nicosia by AFP, the London-based human rights organization said it had made this request in a letter sent to the United Nations Security Council on Friday.
Amnesty noted that various UN bodies, the United States, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization had made proposals to end the violence and human rights abuses that have taken place in Israel and the territories since violence broke out in late September.
"What is still needed is an independent and impartial mechanism on the ground capable of monitoring respect for human rights by all sides on a long term basis," it argued.
Without respect for human rights, there would be no durable peace and security in the region, the organization said.
"The presence of a body of human rights observers, who are entirely independent and impartial, could help restore calm and foster improved respect for human rights," Amnesty said.
The organization said the observers should have "full freedom of movement and free access to persons and places in all areas" of the Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian leadership has called for an international peacekeeping force to be deployed in the territories.
Israel has indicated that it might be open to such a force, but only once a peace deal is reached with the Palestinians -- NICOSIA (AFX)
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