European Union's council of foreign ministers issued a statement on
Gaza on Monday, demanding an impartial inquiry into the flotilla with
international representation, an end to the Gaza blockade with
guarantees of Israel's security, the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit and an end to
the firing of rockets into Israel.
Concerning the flotilla, they
demanded "an immediate, full and impartial inquiry into
these events and the circumstances surrounding them. To command the
confidence of the international community this should include credible
clear from this statement if the EU consider that the committee
appointed by Prime Minister Netanyahu meets requirements.
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doesn't 'trust' Israel probe
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the Gaza blockade the EU ministers said: "The continued policy of
unacceptable and politically counterproductive... ...in line with UN
Security Council Resolution 1860, the EU reiterates its call for an
immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow
of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza
including goods from the West Bank."
Regarding Israeli security concerns they said the blockade end must
include "a solution that addresses Israel's legitimate security concerns
including a complete stop to all violence and arms smuggling into
Gaza." The ministers expressed a willingness to help Israel implement
The minister's were addressed by the Quartet's middle-east mediator,
Tony Blair, who earlier said that he believed
Israel would ease its blockade. This part of the statement may reflect Blair's influence on the minsters.
Part of the EU statement was also addressed to Hamas. The Ministers said they
"deplore the continuing acts of rocket fire. All those responsible must
take immediate and concrete steps to cease and prevent such violence.
The Council calls on those holding the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad
Shalit to release him without delay. Hamas must also unconditionally
allow ICRC access and end its interference with the operations of NGOs
and UN agencies in Gaza."
Earlier in the day, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas said that Israel's planned
internal investigation into the Gaza flotilla raid falls short of UN
Security Council demands.
Abbas also said "Israel must lift the blockade ... That is our principal
and permanent demand."
He added that peace negotiations with Israel would be suspended if no
progress is made by the coming autumn.
The PA president's comments came after a meeting with French President
Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris . Asked about Israel's announcement that it
would hold an investigation under an Israeli judge and with two outside
experts, Abbas said this "does not correspond" with Security Council
demands that the Palestinians had approved.
Abbas visit to Paris was part of a trip that has already seen him in Washington
does not trust the probe either Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu was quoted as saying Monday.
"We have no trust at all
that Israel, a country that has carried out such an attack on a civilian
convoy in international waters, will conduct an impartial
investigation," AFP quoted Davutoglu as saying.
called for an
investigation to be held "under the direct control of the United
Nations... with the participation of Turkey and Israel."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on June 5 that the IDF raid of
the Mavi Marmara
investigated by a New
committee, with Israeli and Turkish
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