"Israel must lift its military blockade of the Gaza Strip and invite an independent, fact-finding mission to investigate its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a United Nations rights body said on Friday.
The U.N. Human Rights Committee also told Israel to ensure that Palestinians in the occupied territories can enjoy the fundamental civil and political freedoms that Israel had pledged to uphold in the main international human rights treaty.
Israel maintains that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does not apply to the occupied West Bank and Gaza, although it says that the treaty does apply to Jewish settlers there, committee member Christine Chanet said.
There are no Israeli settlers in Gaza itself.
'In Israel's written responses to the committee, one could see a total discrimination in the sense that settlers benefited from the pact,' she told a news briefing.
'We have maintained our position on the applicability of the covenant. We are stronger because the International Court of Justice has said we were right on this position,' she added, referring to the World Court's 2004 advisory opinion.
Chanet, a former French judge and international human rights expert, said: 'It is very difficult to have a real dialogue (with Israel).'"
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