Terkel C'tee to meet for 1st time

Amnesty Int'l expresses disappointment with committee framework.

Flotilla Committee 311 (photo credit: Moshe Milner)
Flotilla Committee 311
(photo credit: Moshe Milner)
The Gaza flotilla probe - chaired by  Ya’acov Terkel - was set to meet for the first time on Wednesday to discuss operating procedures for the group.
The committee is tasked with examining the legality of the Gaza blockade, the navy's actions in its raid on the flotilla, and the actions taken by the flotilla organizers, especially the Turkish group IHH.
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In addition to Terkel, the committee is comprised of two other Israeli members, international law professor and Israel prize winner Shabtai Rosen, 93; and Maj.-Gen (res.) Amos Horev, 86, a former president at the Technion.
The panel also includes two international observers: Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble, 65, and Ken Watkin, 55, former judge advocate general of the Canadian military.
Wednesday's meeting will not include the committee's foreign observers, who have not yet arrived in Israel. 
The first meeting of the committee will deal with technical issues, such as how witnesses will be called and the manner in which discussions will take place.
Amnesty International responded with disappointment on Wednesday to the cabinet's appointment of the committee to investigate the Gaza flotilla affair.
"The structure of the government-appointed committee brings disappointment. This was a missed opportunity," said Malcolm Smart, the head of the Middle East and North Africa division of Amnesty International.
Smart went on to criticize the Israeli committee on the grounds that it lacked sufficient independence from the government to reach meaningful conclusions and that the findings of the committee would be unusable for future legal actions in regard to the events that occurred during the flotilla raid.