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Chairman of U.N. Panel Deplores Israel’s ‘repressive Policies’

The chairman of a United Nations committee has sharply attacked Israel’s “repressive policies” against Palestinian rioters in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, calling on the international community to take “appropriate action” against the Jewish state.

In a letter to Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, circulated here Monday, the chairman of the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Absa Claude Diallo, claimed that since the beginning of the uprising last December, at least 302 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops.

This figure is about 20 percent higher than figures reported by the Israel Defense Force, which put the number of Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli troops at slightly over 250.

Expressing its “profound concern at the repressive policies and practices of Israel, the occupying power,” Diallo said the international community must ensure Israel’s adherence to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and its provisions “concerning the safety and protection” of the Palestinians.

Diallo charged that Israel has recently intensified its repression of the Palestinians, “in particular by army raids on villages and refugee camps to prevent demonstrations, and by keeping the schools and universities closed.”

The letter also deplored the fact that “live ammunition and plastic bullets are being used more and more frequently and have resulted in an increase in casualties.”

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