Palestinians Tell Mitchell Commission their Side of Uprising
The Palestinians announced Sunday that they have submitted a 61-page response to an international fact-finding commission that is looking into the causes of violence in the region.
In the reply the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) made a number of recommendations on how to avert future conflict, including a freeze on the building of Jewish settlements, an end to Israeli-imposed traffic restrictions and the deployment of an international force to observe any peace deal.
The response, which also includes videos, concerns "the origins of the current revolt, the revolt itself and the ways to stop it from happening again," the Palestinian Authority said in a statement.
Both sides were given until Monday to respond to the commission, which is headed by former US senator and Northern Ireland peace broker George Mitchell.
Israel plans to tell the commission the Palestinians started the violence and that Israel is "the aggressed party," Roni Milo, Israel's liaison with the fact-finding group, said last week.
The commission was set up by the October peace summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, meeting a Palestinian demand.
The Palestinians have criticized the commission for having too limited a mandate and urged the fact finders to consider the violence in the context of Israeli occupation.
More than 360 people have died since September 28, when riots began in response to Israeli hardliner Ariel Sharon's visit to a disputed religious shrine in Jerusalem.
Mitchell will begin a series of visits to the region in late January, along with the other four members -- former Turkish president Suleyman Demirel, EU foreign affairs representative Javier Solana, Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland and Warren Rudman, another former US senator -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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