Germany and Italy said on Tuesday they wanted the international quartet of Middle East mediators to be involved in a "transparent and neutral" investigation into Israel's raid on a Gaza aid flotilla.
Israel has rejected U.N. calls for an international inquiry into its deadly commando raid on Monday on a pro-Palestinian convoy trying to challenge the blockade of the Gaza Strip, saying it will carry out its own investigation.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and his Italian counterpart Franco Frattini said after meeting in Berlin they wanted an international inquiry, with Westerwelle adding that it was "in Israel's own interests" such a probe take place.
"We agree there must be a thorough, transparent and neutral investigation with an international compoment, which should in our opinion involve the quartet," said Westerwelle, adding that "the blockade of aid to Gaza is unacceptable".
Frattini echoed Westerwelle's comments on the involvement of the quartet -- composed of the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia -- and the need for a "transparent, honest and thorough" investigation.
The Italian politician agreed the blockade must be lifted, while suggesting the international community could help Israel to carry out security checks on goods allowed into Gaza.
"The situation in Gaza must be resolved now, by allowing the movement of goods and services needed by the population," said Frattini.
"Above all, we must not play into the hands of extremists. Closing the borders gives the extremists of Hamas an opportunity to use the blockade of Gaza as a flag, and not a flag of peace."
France and Britain have also called on Israel to accept an international inquiry into the incident.
ReutersLast Mod: 09 Haziran 2010, 09:43