Geneva: The head of UN Human Rights Council
on Wednesday said that he hoped Israeli authorities would cooperate
with its inquiry into May`s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid
Israeli officials have rejected the probe as biased and
on Monday Israel agreed to back another, separate panel set up
by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that will look into the
incident on May 31, which left nine Turkish activists dead.
The president of the Geneva-based human rights council,
Thai ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow, nonetheless reiterated
his hopes that Israeli authorities "will engage positively"
with his organisation`s probe.
"This mission is not about finger-pointing. It`s about
establishing the facts, it`s about looking into the legal
aspect of what happened, violations of humanitarian law," he
"It is in the interest of Israel to cooperate to this
fact finding mission."
Sihasak insisted there was no duplication or overlap
between the two parallel UN missions on the Gaza flotilla
raid, with the council focussing on human rights while the one
set up in New York by the UN chief`s was "broader".
The 47-member state Human Rights Council condemned the
raid as an "outrageous attack" during an emergency session in
June and voted to set up the panel, formed by two outside
legal experts and a UN agency official.
Ten days ago a senior Israeli official sharply criticised
the rights assembly`s move, claiming its three-strong panel
"is not intending to look for the truth but to satisfy the
non-democratic countries which control the Human Rights
Council, who have an automatic anti-Israeli majority."
Group pledges new aid flotilla to Gaza this year
The organisers of the "Freedom
Flotilla" to Gaza said in Stockholm on Wednesday they would make a
new attempt to reach the Palestinian territory before the end
of the year.
"We are going to send a flotilla if the siege is not
lifted," Ship to Gaza Sweden spokesman Dror Feiler told AFP
after the group`s meeting in Stockholm.
"We will go before the end of this year and we are quite
sure that this flotilla will be bigger boats, it will be
several passenger boats," he added.
"And as determined before, we will not accept Israeli
control, we will not accept Israeli inspections and we will go
to Gaza," he said.
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition said in a statement it
planned to enlarge the coalition "to include the various
groups around the world that want to join us, as well as
intensify our efforts to mobilise a new flotilla."
Nine Turkish activists where killed in an Israeli raid on
a aid flotilla to the Palestinian territory on May 31.