UN call for international Gaza probe still valid: Ban

Israel has set up its own panel to probe its raid on Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

New York: UN chief Ban Ki-moon believes his proposal for a credible international inquiry into Israel`s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla is still on the table, his press office said on Monday.

Ban considers his proposal does not contradict Israel`s decision to set up its own panel, including two foreign observers, to investigate last month`s raid which left nine Turkish activists dead, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.
Haq said the UN secretary general takes note of Israel`s decision to set up an enquiry panel and believes it could fit with his own proposal.

"A thorough Israeli investigation is important and could fit with the secretary general`s proposal which would fully meet the international community`s expectations for a credible and impartial investigation," the spokesman said.

Ban`s proposal for an impartial international enquiry "remains on the table and he hopes for a positive Israeli response”, Haq added.

Late yesterday, Israel formally announced formation of its three-member enquiry panel in a move ratified by the Israeli cabinet today.

The panel is to be chaired by retired supreme court judge Yaakov Tirkel, who will work alongside retired major general Amos Horev and Shabtai Rosen, a professor of international law.

It will also include two international observers: Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble, and Ken Watkin, former judge advocate general of the Canadian military.

But the Israeli move was swiftly dismissed by both Turkey and the Palestinians.

Ankara swiftly said Israel was incapable of being "impartial”, and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said setting up an internal committee did not comply with UN demands.


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