Terkel C'tee begins flotilla probe

Panel head: Netanyahu, Barak, Ashekenazi to be summoned immediately.

Flotilla Committee 311 (photo credit: Moshe Milner)
Flotilla Committee 311
(photo credit: Moshe Milner)
The Terkel committee, appointed to investigate the circumstances of the IDF's interception of the Mavi Marmara and five other boats heading for Gaza last month, held its first public meeting on Monday morning.
The head of the committee, retired Supreme Court justice Ya’acov Terkel, introduced the members of the committee, legal expert Prof. Shabtai Rosenne and military expert Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Horev.
Editorial: Terkel's imperative
UN may put forward international flotilla probe
Analysis: Should age matter?
He also introduced the two international oberservers, David Trimble of Ireland and Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Ken Watkin of Canada.
Terkel said the committee would immediately summon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of Staff Gabbi Ashkenazi and other senior officials to testify before it.
Trimble said that he hoped to contribute to the inquiry and added, "We are all determined that the inquiry be vigorous and hope that it can make a contribution to peace."
The committee, officially known as the Independent Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010, was established by the cabinet on June 14.
Its mandate is to “examine the aspects… relating to the actions taken by the State of Israel to prevent vessels from reaching the coast of the Gaza Strip on May 31.” During the takeover of the largest vessel in the flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, nine Turkish passengers were killed and dozens wounded. Seven Israeli soldiers were also wounded.
The specific topics to be examined by the committee include the security circumstances leading to the imposition of the Israeli sea blockade on Gaza and the conformity of the blockade to the rules of international law. The committee will also investigate the legality of the actions taken by the navy on May 31 to prevent the flotilla from reaching Gaza and an investigation of the actions taken by the flotilla organizers.