Barak cancels France visit, fearing Gaza ship attack arrest

Barak unexpectedly canceled his visit to Paris, fearing lawsuits over a recent Israeli raid on Gaza-bound aid flotilla, said an Israeli report on Sunday.

Barak cancels France visit, fearing Gaza ship attack arrest

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak unexpectedly canceled his visit to Paris, fearing lawsuits over a recent Israeli raid on Gaza-bound aid flotilla, said an Israeli report on Sunday.

According to the website of Yediot Ahronot, the Defense Ministry reported that Minister Barak decided to remain in Israel and not to attend an international military exhibition in Paris.

The Defense Ministry reported that Minister Barak decided to remain in Israel "until the team of experts investigates the raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla", it noted.

International Civil Campaign for the Protection of the Palestinian People (CCIPPP) and Palestinian Charity and Aid (CBSP) French activists who took part in the flotilla to the Gaza Strip intend to file a lawsuit against Barak both in France and in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Three members of French parliament have joined the effort, it added.

Barak was supposed to inaugurate the Israeli pavilion at the international military exhibition in Paris and meet with defense and foreign ministers.
According to CCIPPP and CBSP view, Barak should be held personally responsible for the recent flotilla assault.

Activists have previously tried to arrest Barak and other Israeli officials in Europe under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

That principle allows the prosecution of suspected war criminals in countries that have no direct connection with the events.

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.

Nine people, including eight Turkish and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent, died when Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31. Around 30 people were wounded in the attack. The ship was also carrying activists from Britain, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium, Ireland and elsewhere.

Turkey demans international independent probe on the bloody attack in international waters and vows to follow the matter until the end.

Turkey defines the Israeli attack on aid flotilla as a problem between Israel and international community and international law, not a problem between Turkey and Israel.

Agencies

Last Mod: 14 Haziran 2010, 11:37
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