Jerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu is to testify on August 9 before an Israeli panel
probing the legality of a deadly May 31 raid, it said on Tuesday.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak and top general Gabi
Ashkenazi will also appear before the so-called Tirkel
Commission, on August 10 and 11 respectively, it said, adding
that "the testimony will be in public" and under oath.
"The commission is currently receiving and studying the
necessary documents as part of its preparations to hear the
aforesaid testimony," it said in a statement.
The committee officially began looking into the raid on
Israel set up the Tirkel Commission in the wake of
growing global pressure to look into the operation during
which Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish activists as they
intercepted a fleet carrying aid to Gaza.
The panel comprises three elderly retired judges and two
experts, and their work is being monitored by two foreign
Yesterday, the military presented the results of its own
internal probe, which found that mistakes were made at a
relatively senior level but concluded that the use of live
fire was justified.
The report is to be passed on to the Tirkel Committee,
which does not have the authority to summon anyone from the
military except for Ashkenazi.
Israel says its commandos used force after they were
attacked with sticks and stabbed when they rappelled onto the
deck of the Turkish passenger ferry Mavi Marmara from
helicopters in international waters.
But the activists on board the ship insist the troops
opened fire as soon as they landed.