Turkey: Israel refusal to int'l panel cover-up to Gaza aid attack

Israel refused a proposal by U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon for an international investigation into its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

Turkey: Israel refusal to int'l panel cover-up to Gaza aid attack

Israel refused on Sunday a proposal by U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon for an international investigation into its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

Israeli soldiers attacked a fleet of boats carrying 700 international activist and 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid heading to Gaza, killing 9 Turkish activists. The ship was also carrying activists from Britain, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium, Ireland and elsewhere.

"We are rejecting an international commission. We are discussing with the Obama administration a way in which our inquiry will take place," Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to Washington, said on the U.S. TV programme "Fox News Sunday".

The U.N. chief had suggested establishing a panel that would be headed by former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer and include representatives from Turkey, Israel and the United States, an Israeli official said earlier in Jerusalem.

"Israel has the ability and the right to investigate itself, not to be investigated by any international board," Oren said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking on CNN, said Ankara would insist on an independent commission and suggested that Israel's refusal of an international inquiry showed it wanted to cover up the facts of the raid.

"We want to know the facts. If Israel rejects this, it means it is also another proof of their guilt. They are not self-confident to face the facts," he said.

"Activists shot at close range"


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.


Agencies

Last Mod: 06 Haziran 2010, 18:37
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