(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that a retired high court
judge, Jacob Turkel, will head the committee of inquiry into the raid on
the Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara.
a meeting of Likud ministers, the prime minister said he had notified
US President Barack Obama of the plans.
waits on US, EU to launch probe
We need an international inquiry - without America
Sunday morning, in a statement to his cabinet, Netanyahu said that
"Before the flotilla set sail for Gaza, we discussed – in various
forums – the continuation of our policy toward the Gaza Strip. These
discussions continued last week, inter alia, in the meetings I held on
the subject with Quartet envoy Tony Blair."
"The principle guiding our policy is clear – to prevent the entry of war
materiel into Gaza and to allow the entry of humanitarian aid
and non-contraband goods into the Gaza Strip. The aforementioned
discussions, which will continue this week, are designed to ensure that
this principle is effectively applied."
Also on Sunday, in an interview with Fox News, United States UN Ambassador Susan Rice said the US believes Israel can conduct a "credible and impartial" investigation into the Mavi Marmara incident, but that an "international component" would make it more credible in the eyes of the international community.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak was forced to
cancel his participation
in the French arms show "Eurosatory 2010" where he was due to open the
Barak canceled his attendance as a result of the need to
prepare for the committee of inquiry and because of threats by
pro-Palestinian groups to have him arrested for "war crimes" related to
the raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.
Meanwhile Minister of Welfare Isaac Herzog, has warned the government
meeting of the EU foreign ministers is taking place in the next few
days and that if Israel wants to head
off an international inquiry, it must take a quick decision establishing
the committee of inquiry. He added that "we must let go of our feeling of being under siege and move on."
Former high court judge Jacob Turkel, who is to head the inquiry, is seventy-five years old. He
served as a high court judge