netanyahu visits troops 311.
(photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom)
Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that "Israel's right to self-defense is
under attack." Speaking to elite IDF troops, the prime minister
went on, "You have proved that there's no limit to your skill, and I
Navy commandos from Shayetet 13, the unit involved
in last week's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, were among the group.
'Iranian ships won't reach Gaza'
the prime minister argues that Israel's self-defense is being
undermined, his administration, though no official statement has been
issued, seems to be considering the establishment of an Israeli
investigative committee – and not a wider government commission of
inquiry – with the
participation of two foreign observers, one American and one from an
It is not clear who will lead the probe, but one name being
prominently mentioned is law professor Ruth Lapidot. The panel is
question the political echelon and senior military officials, but not
soldiers who took part in the raid.
It is also expected to look at the
legality of the naval blockade on Gaza, and the legality and manner in
Israel prevented the flotilla from reaching Gaza.
Jerusalem is also
discussing the framework of the probe with Washington, to ensure the
meets US requirements. The State Department stressed that it expected
fulfill the obligations for a
credible investigation laid out last week,
officials declined to address specific configurations.
“We expect the
Israeli government to conduct a prompt, impartial, credible and
investigation conforming to international standards that gets to all the
surrounding this tragic incident,” one State Department official said.
official reiterated the US position that Washington was “open to
of assuring a credible investigation, including international
without specifying which
arrangement was preferred.
“We will continue to
discuss these ideas with the Israelis and our international partners in
ahead,” the official said.
“This is a very difficult situation that
requires careful, thoughtful responses from all concerned.”
Herb Keinon and Yaakov Katz
contributed to this report.