Israel Says Ready to Work with Inquiry Panel on Middle East Violence
Israel said on Sunday it would work with an international fact-finding committee due to start investigating this month the wave of deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence over the past nine weeks.
"Israel will cooperate fully with the committee," Barak's chief of staff Gilad Sher told public radio, dropping the government's earlier objections.
But Sher added: "We hope that before its arrival, the committee's mandate is clearly defined."
Palestinian officials have said the five-member committee, headed by former US senator George Mitchell, was expected in the region on December 11, almost two months after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit in Egypt in October decided to set it up.
The committee aims to establish the reasons for the Israeli-Palestinian unrest, which has claimed the lives of more than 300 people since late September, and ways to solve it.
Israel had said last month it was opposed to the committee starting its work in the region until the violence dies down.
Besides Mitchell -- previously a mediator in the Northern Ireland peace process -- the commission's members include former Turkish president Suleyman Demirel, Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign affairs representative, Norwegian diplomat Thorbjorn Jagland and Warren Rudman, another former US senator – JERUSALEM (AFP)
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