Israel threatens to pull out of UN flotilla probe

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday threatened to pull out of a UN investigation into Israel's May 31 interception of a violent Turkish-backed humanitarian aid flotilla that was trying to break the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Nine Turkish activists were killed aboard the flotilla's largest ship, the Mavi Marmara, after they attacked and abducted members of the Israeli boarding party.

Last week, Israel reluctantly submitted to pressure to participate in an international investigation of the incident. But Netanyahu insisted that the UN would not be permitted to interrogate Israeli military officers, and would have to rely on reports from Israel's internal investigation into the incident.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday told reporters that he had not agreed to Netanyahu's condition.

In response, Netanyahu issued a statement that "Israel will not cooperate with and will not take part in any panel that seeks to interrogate Israeli soldiers."

Israelis are less than trusting of UN investigations after the Goldstone Commission into the recent Gaza war took Hamas claims at face value and accused Israel of widespread war crimes.

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