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Int'l inquiry over flotilla episode in debate in Israel

English.news.cn   2010-06-08 00:49:21 FeedbackPrintRSS

by David Harris

The Gaza-bound Rachel Corrie aid ship, which is under control of the Israeli navy, approaches southern Israel's Ashdod port June 5, 2010.(Xinhua/Rafael Ben-Ari)
The Gaza-bound Rachel Corrie aid ship, which is under control of the Israeli navy, approaches southern Israel's Ashdod port June 5, 2010.(Xinhua/Rafael Ben-Ari)

JERUSALEM, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Most Israeli politicians consider their country should not allow an international inquiry into last week's events on board a Turkish ship that killed at least nine people.

However, seven Israeli cabinet ministers, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have begun to ponder over the proposal for an international panel since Sunday night. Their deliberations continued into Monday.

While many Israelis fear that any investigation without their control will prove to be a witch hunt, some analysts suggested that Israel should cooperate with such an international investigation panel.

THE GOLDSTONE EFFECT

Much of the global media is reporting Monday that Netanyahu rejected the idea raised by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. However, Israel insists it has not rejected the idea but wants time to consider it in details.

Some Israelis say they've already had a precedent that shows a UN-led team will immediately find against the Jewish state.

A commission had been established by the UN last year after the fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas fighters. The subsequent report, known as the Goldstone Report, named after the panel's chairman South African jurist Richard Goldstone, accused Israel of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

In its wake, Israeli leaders have been unable to visit such countries as the United Kingdom, where Palestinian activists have attempted to seek their arrest for allegedly committing war crimes.

Israel is concerned that any investigation into last Monday's events of last Monday will step onto the same path as the Goldstone Report.

Ban had proposed to formed a panel headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and included Israeli, Turkish and American representatives.

The current rumor in Israel is that it would rather see a domestic investigation with American observers on board. However, that is not a path recommended by Guy Harpaz, an expert on public international law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

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