Turkey demands 'solid' sanctions on Israel, UN to set up panel

Ban told Erdogan that the panel will review the incident and issue a final report within two months, according to Turkish Anadolu news agency.

Turkey demands 'solid' sanctions on Israel, UN to set up panel

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United Nations has decided to set up a panel to investigate a deadly Israeli raid on an international convoy bound with humanitarian aid to Gaza that killed nine activists, Turkish sources cited UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as telling Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a telephone conversation on Saturday.

Ban said the five-member panel would be headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and include representatives from Turkey and Israel as well as two other members to be assigned by the UN secretary-general.

Ban told Erdogan that the panel will review the incident and issue a final report within two months, according to Turkish Anadolu news agency.

Sources cited Erdogan as urging the UN chief to exert efforts to end the Israeli blockade on Gaza and humanitarian aid be delivered promptly under UN's supervision.

Erdogan also called for "solid sanctions" on Israel for its aggression on the aid convoy.

Tens of thousands of people marched through Istanbul on Saturday to protest the attack, demanding Turkey cut ties with Israel.

"US role in probe"

Meanwhile, an Israeli official confirmed the proposal, telling Reuters news agency on Sunday.Ban has proposed a multinational investigation into Israeli attack on the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara last Monday,

The ship was also carrying activists from Britain, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium, Ireland and elsewhere.

Leaked post-mortem results showed that the activists were killed by a hail of 9mm bullets, many fired at close range. Five of the nine were shot in the head.

The Turkish attorney general’s office said it was collecting witness statements.

Leaked reports from the post-mortem examinations of the nine dead Turkish activists, one of whom also held a US passport, showed the men had been shot a total of 30 times, and five of them were killed by gunshot wounds to the head.

One 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. Fulkan Dogan, 19, the holder of a US passport, was shot five times, all from a range of less than 45cm.

Ban has suggested establishing a panel that would be headed by former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer and include representatives from Turkey -- under whose flag the ship sailed -- Israel and the United States, said the official from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

The Israeli leader discussed the proposal with Ban on Saturday and planned to convene senior cabinet ministers on Sunday to decide whether Israel would take part, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ban also discussed with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erodogan options for moving forward with the investigation called for by the Security Council, the U.N. said on its website, referring to the Council's call for an impartial inquiry.

A prosecutor took statements from those in hospital who were well enough to speak, the broadcaster CNN Turk said on its website. Turkish officials are considering legal action against Israeli leaders.

Inclusion of the United States, who often sides with Israel, could raise questions by many how much it will harm the panel's impartiality. US administration avoided to condemn the bloody attack on international aid activists. EU along with Russia, China slammed the attack, calling for probe.

Last Mod: 06 Haziran 2010, 13:23
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