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Mitchell report cnn

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   http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/05/21/mitchell.overview/

http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/05/21/mitchell.overview/

The Mitchell Committee report



(CNN) -- The Mitchell Committee, led by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, was established after an October 2000 summit at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. At the time, the clashes between Israel and the Palestinians had just begun.

The commission's report, delivered after another seven months of strife and more than 500 deaths, included:

A call for an immediate cease-fire, a renunciation of terrorism and a resumption of peace talks. "The cycle of violence action and reaction must be broken," commissioners concluded.

Rebuilding confidence and restoring trust between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. "Given the high level of hostility and mistrust, the timing and sequence of these steps are obviously crucial. This can be decided only by the parties," the report said.

A resumption of talks between Israeli and Palestinian security officials.

A freeze on construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel has controlled since 1967.

A call for Israel to lift economic restraints on Palestinian areas. "We acknowledge the (Israeli) position that actions of this nature have been taken for security reasons," commissioners stated. "Nevertheless, the economic effects will persist for years."

Calls for the Palestinian Authority to prevent Palestinian attacks on Israelis, and for Israel to limit its use lethal force against Palestinians. In particular, commissioners urged Palestinian officials to make a "100 percent" commitment to reducing terrorism -- including arresting terrorists operating in its jurisdiction.

While the commission urged both parties to resume negotiations, it acknowledged that months of "fear, anger, hate and frustration" made that more difficult.

"The greatest danger of all is that the culture of peace, nurtured over the previous decade, is being shattered. In its place, there is a growing sense of futility and despair, and a growing resort to violence," the report found.

Israel said it welcomed the call for an end to violence. But it signaled a difference of opinion on one key, contentious point: the expansion of Jewish settlements in Palestinian-controlled territories.

Palestinians said they accepted the Mitchell Committee findings as "a road map" toward peace, but cited as a "deficiency" the report's failure to set forth how the commitments must be implemented.



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