UNHRC decides to probe Israeli attack on Gaza aid flotilla
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 03, 2010, 16:09
United Nations: The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to set up a fact-finding mission to investigate Israel's deadly operation on an aid flotilla heading for the Gaza strip in which nine people were killed.

The Council passed a resolution in this regard, which condemned the Israeli action as an "outrageous act" and decided to send an "independent international fact-finding mission" to probe violations of international law and human rights law.

The resolution proposed by Pakistan, Sudan and Palestine, was adopted after a vote yesterday, with 32 countries voting in favour, three against, and eight abstentions.

The United States voted against the resolution, while Britain and France abstained from voting.

The resolution "condemns in the strongest terms the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces against the humanitarian flotilla of ships which resulted in the killing and injuring of many innocent civilians from different countries."

Nine people were killed, reportedly including four Turks, on Monday when a flotilla of boats heading for Gaza was boarded by Israeli commandos in international waters.

Israel contests that it acted in self defence and it had to stop the flotilla of six ships, led by the Mavi Marmara, from pushing past the Gaza blockade.

Amidst growing international pressure, hundreds of activists that were detained in Israel This week, the UN Security Council also issued a presidential statement condemning Israel's interception of the aid convoy and calling for a "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation".

While the majority of the Security Council wants the UN to carry out the investigation, the US supports a domestic probe.

Claude Heller, the president of the Security Council, told journalists that it was expected that UN chief Ban Ki-moon would take action swiftly, but did not categorically say whether the statement of the Council pointed towards an international or domestic investigation.

At a press conference, Ban noted that he was in consultations with all the relevant parties -- the Turks, Israelis, Arabs and the US -- and would need a few days to decide on a course of action.

"It is very important, first of all, that we have a full investigation of this incident so that this kind of tragic incident will not happen again, and you may have to wait some time before I make any decision," Ban told journalists.


First Published: Thursday, June 03, 2010, 16:09

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