US urges `prompt` inquiry of Gaza flotilla raid

Israeli Navy commandos boarded a pro-Palestinian aid flotilla on May 31.

Washington: The US has urged Israel to "promptly" conduct a probe into its military raid on an international aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip, a media report said.

"While Israel should be afforded the time to complete its process, we expect Israel`s commission and military investigation will be carried out promptly," Xinhua reported on Sunday quoting White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

"We also expect that, upon completion, its findings will be presented publicly and will be presented to the international community," Gibbs said in a statement.

Israeli Navy commandos boarded a pro-Palestinian international aid flotilla on May 31 and clashed with activists on one of the ships. The violence left nine dead, eight of them Turkish citizens, and dozens wounded.

The international community has slammed Israel for using excessive force and asked to conduct an international inquiry into the incident. The Israeli government insists that its soldiers acted just in self-defence when they were attacked on board by the activists.

Early Sunday, Israel decided to form an internal panel with two international observers to probe into the raid, in an effort to explain before the international community "the actions performed by Israel to prevent flotilla vessels from reaching the Gaza coast".

Through a presidential statement of the UN Security Council, the US joined the international community in condemning Israel`s raid and supporting the completion of a prompt, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation.

But the administration also claimed that Israel "should be allowed to undertake an investigation into events that involve its national security".

"We will not prejudge the process or its outcome, and will await the conduct and findings of the investigation before drawing further conclusions," said Gibbs.


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