UN Chief names Israeli, Turk on flotilla probe panel

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has named the Israeli and Turkish members of the commission that will probe Israel`s May 31 attacks on a Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla that killed nine Turks.

Last Updated: Aug 08, 2010, 12:01 PM IST

United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon has named the Israeli and Turkish members of the
commission that will investigate Israel`s May 31 attacks on a
Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla that killed nine Turks.

"Israel`s panel member is Mr Joseph Ciechanover.
Turkey`s panel member is Mr Ozdem Sanberk. Both men have
distinguished records of public service," Ban said in a
statement.

The United Nations had previously announced that the
four-member investigating commission would be chaired by
former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, with former
Colombian president Alvaro Uribe as vice chairman.
The announcement coincided with Uribe`s last day in
office.

Ban said he was looking forward to meeting the two new
members of the panel on August 10, "when they will join the
other panel members."

"As I said when announcing the panel (on Monday)," he
added, "I hope the panel will fulfil its mandate based on the
Presidential Statement of the Security Council and with the
fullest cooperation of the relevant national authorities of
the two countries," Israel and Turkey.

After balking for two months at an independent probe
of the attack, Israel on Tuesday announced it was backing the
UN probe into its deadly raid, in a bid to patch up its ties
with Turkey.

The Israeli raid resulted in the death of nine Turks
-- including one with dual US-Turkish citizenship -- on the
flotilla`s lead ship, the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, dealing
a heavy blow to Turkish-Israeli ties.

Ankara denounced the raid as a violation of
international law, immediately recalled its ambassador and
cancelled three planned joint military exercises with the
Jewish state.

Ankara denounced the raid as a violation of
international law and threatened to completely sever ties with
Israel unless the Jewish state complied with an international
committee, issued an apology and paid compensation to the
victims.

The 47-member Human Rights Council, which condemned
the Isreli raid as an "outrageous attack" during an emergency
session just days after the operation, has also decided to set
up a commission of enquiry.

The panel is due to present its findings in
mid-September.

PTI