The Mitchell Committee and Or Commission

The Mitchell Committee recommendations, which were released in mid-May 2001, include an immediate and unconditional cessation of violence, immediate resumption of security cooperation, a meaningful cooling-off period to be followed by confidence building measures and a resumption of political negotiations. Unlike other UN and international reports issued since September 2000, the Mitchell Committee does not call for an investigation of Israeli violations of international law nor does it call for the deployment of international protection forces.

The redeployment of Israeli military forces, moreover, is connected to the termination of the intifada, resumption of security cooperation and a cooling-off period. While the Mitchell committee does recommend that Israel "freeze all settlement activity, including the 'natural growth of settlements'", the parameters of such a settlement freeze remain undefined, and it seems up to the
parties to decide, or in reality, up to Israel to impose.

Regarding the resumption of negotiations, the intended aftermath of the termination of the intifada, the Mitchell report, having opted to address symptoms rather than the root causes underlying the breakdown in the political process, merely states that "it is not within its mandate to prescribe the venue, the basis or the agenda of the negotiations."

The Or Commission of Inquiry into events inside Israel in October 2000, meanwhile, which left 13 Palestinians dead, resumed hearings in early June after a 2 month break following a confrontation between a police witness and the father of one of the deceased young men. Israeli policemen have confirmed in their testimonies that live fire was used against Palestinian demonstrators when there was no threat to the lives of the police officers.

An Israeli journalist who appeared before the commission, moreover, revealed that police officers who had testified before the commission concerning the use of live fire, had made contradictory and recorded statements in October to the Israeli press The Commission members have repeatedly called into question the testimonies of police officers and whether statements of the police witnesses had been "adjusted" prior to appearing before the panel.

At one point during the hearings in June, the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Theodor Or, accused the Chief Superintendent Yaron Meir of "giving untrue answers". The Commission later reprimanded police witnesses who were seen conferring about the content of their testimony during the hearings. It was also revealed in June that Israeli police have been supplied with so-called Dum-Dum bullets, banned under international humanitarian law, appearing to confirm several reports that Dum-Dum bullets had been used against Palestinians in at least some of the shootings.