United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon wants a swift and positive response from Israel to his
proposal for an international probe into the May 31 Israeli
raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine people.
"The Secretary-General looks forward to a swift and
positive response from the Israelis," Martin Nesirky,
spokesperson of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, told
journalists, noting that under that proposal, Turkish and
Israeli involvement would be critical.
Rejecting calls for an international probe, Israel has
set up a domestic investigation with international actors,
which includes Lord David Trimble, a Nobel Peace laureate from
Northern Ireland, and Brig Gen Ken Watkin, former judge
advocate general of the Canadian Forces.
But last week Ban made it clear that such a probe was
welcome but did not satisfy the standards of an international
"I know that there are going to be two international
observers. But what I have heard from most of the countries is
that it is not sufficient enough to have international
credibility," Ban said.
Shortly after the raid, the UN Security Council issued
a presidential statement condemning Israel’s interception of
the aid convoy and calling for a "prompt, impartial, credible
and transparent investigation."
Since then, many nations especially Turkey support an
international investigation into the probe but the United
States has been more muted in its criticism of its key ally
and backed a domestic inquiry.
"The Security Council called for a prompt, impartial,
credible and transparent investigation conforming to
international standards," Ban said.
"I have proposed an international panel, under the
aegis of a third party and in which both Turkey and Israel
would actively participate."
Ban`s proposal would include a panel of four members
with one representative each from Israel and Turkey, headed by
Geoffrey Palmer, a former New Zealand Prime Minister.
Turkey has accepted this proposal but Ban still trying
to convince Israel that the two panels could exist together.
Meanwhile, under pressure from the international
community, Israel decided to ease the three year long blockade
of the Gaza strip and increase the flow of goods to 1.5
The UN and the Quartet have welcomed this move but
underlined the need to see the change in policy being acted
Nesirky told journalists that it was "crucial to see
how that shift would be implemented."