Israel rejects international probe into ship raid

Israel rejects the idea of having an int`l commission look into the deadly raid on a Gaza aid ship.

Updated: Jun 06, 2010, 23:51 PM IST

Washington: Israel rejects the idea of a having an international commission look into the country`s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Israel`s ambassador to the US said Sunday.

Michael Oren said Israel has the ability and the right to investigate its own military. And he said Israel will not apologize for the incident, but is talking with the Obama administration about ways to deal with it.

"We are open to any ideas on how to somehow deal with the Gaza situation," Oren said on "Fox News Sunday." He added, however, that "there is no simple idea."

Israel`s prime minister is claiming that the Turkish activists who battled Israeli commandos last week had prepared for the fight ahead of time.

An Israeli official said Sunday that UN Chief Ban Ki-moon is moving ahead with plans for an international commission to investigate Israel`s deadly raid, which came as it was trying to stop the Turkish ship from breaching a blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Ban has not announced details of his proposal.

Eight Turks and a Turkish American were killed in the May 31 raid, and a preliminary autopsy report released by Turkey on Saturday said they were shot a total of 30 times. Israel said its forces acted in self-defense against people it described as Islamic extremists.

Oren said Sunday that Israel regrets the casualties.

The Turkish ship, which was part of a six-vessel international aid flotilla, was breaching an Israeli blockade of Gaza. Israel argues that a blockade is necessary to keep weapons and other military components out of the hands of Gaza militants who have attacked Israel with bombs, rockets and mortars for years.

Bureau Report