Following through on last week’s angry rejection of a UN Security Council resolution calling for an international probe into the attack against aid workers on board the Mavi Marmara, Israel has rejected efforts to organize a joint commission of Israel, the US and Turkey into the incident.
“Israel has the ability and the right to investigate itself, not to be investigated by any international board,” insisted Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added that any investigation into the killings would have to maintain “Israel’s national interests as well as those of the Israel Defense Forces.” He insisted that the Israeli probe will center around who organized and funded the “extremist” aid ship.
The commission was to be headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer. The United States had expressed support for an international probe but it is unclear if they will follow through with it against Israel’s wishes, as administration officials have declined to criticize Israel for the killings.
Israel maintains that there was a secret conspiracy to implicate them in the killings, involving 50 Turkish soldiers secreted away in the ships hold, heavily armed with grenades and weapons. The claim is widely reported as fact within the Israeli press, though the lack of any such weapons or soldiers on board makes the claim rather far-fetched. At least eight Turkish civilians and one American were among the slain, and despite claims that everyone on board was a “terrorist” in league with al-Qaeda Israel released every survivor without charging anyone with a crime.
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