PACE to send fact-finding committee to Gaza

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to "examine the situation in the region," with an emphasis on Gaza at end of November.

September 18, 2014 18:37
Beit Hanun gaza

A Palestinian looks out from the remains of his house in Beit Hanun, a town in the northern Gaza Strip.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will send a fact-finding mission to Gaza, assembly President Anne Brasseur said Thursday.

Brasseur told MK Nachman Shai (Labor), the head of the Knesset delegation to PACE, where Israel has observer status, that a committee will "examine the situation in the region," with an emphasis on Gaza at the end of November.

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"There is no doubt that this is a serious and alarming development," Shai said. "Past experience with a similar committee was bad and ended with a biased report."

Shai pointed out that the Council of Europe did not send missions to other parts of the Middle East where there was fighting in recent months.

The Labor MK plans to seek the Foreign Ministry's advice on how to treat the committee.

Earlier this month, PACE's political committee heard testimony from Israeli and Palestinian Authority representatives and expressed interest in seeing the situation firsthand.

PACE focuses on human rights and democracy issues and holds plenary sessions in Strasbourg. Its decisions are non-binding but are taken seriously as recommendations to its 47 states and the European Union.

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