Sunday, June 6, 2010


Israel 'to reject international ship raid inquiry'

Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Sunday, 6 June 2010 15:36 UK

Michael Oren (file image)Michael Oren said Israel would not apologise for the incident

Israel will reject a proposed international commission to investigate its deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, its ambassador to the US has said.

Michael Oren told US broadcaster Fox News that Israel has the ability and the right to investigate its own military.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had earlier telephoned Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu with the proposal.

Nine people died when Israeli commandos stormed the Turkish ship last week.

"We are rejecting an international commission. We are discussing with the Obama administration a way in which our inquiry will take place," Mr Oren told Fox News Sunday.

He said Israel would not apologise for the incident. Eight of those killed were Turkish, and the ninth had joint US-Turkish nationality.

The proposed commission was to have included representatives from the US, Turkey and Israel and could have been headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer.

Meanwhile, Israel has deported seven activists who tried to sail another aid ship to Gaza in defiance of Israel's blockade.

They were among 11 campaigners and eight crew detained after troops boarded their ship the Rachel Corrie.

Israel stepped up its blockade of Gaza in 2007, when the Islamist Hamas movement took control of the territory, and says its policies will not change while Hamas remains in power.

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