Israel to probe legality of Gaza blockade, raid: minister
Israel plans to set up an investigative team to look into the legality of the naval blockade on Gaza and of a deadly raid on a flotilla which sought to break it, a minister said on Tuesday.world Updated: Jun 08, 2010 13:03 IST
Israel plans to set up an investigative team to look into the legality of the naval blockade on Gaza and of a deadly raid on a flotilla which sought to break it, a minister said on Tuesday.
"The committee that will be formed will examine two questions: Is the naval blockade in line with international law, and is the raid we conducted against the flotilla also in line with international law?" minister without portfolio Benny Begin told public radio.
Begin insisted that "the blockade is not only justified but also vital, as the Hamas leaders who control the Gaza Strip, as well as some of the flotilla's passengers, are no saints."
Israel's restricted cabinet late on Monday decided in principle to create the team, but the decision still needs to be ratified by the full government.
Israel is coordinating with Washington in the hope of winning US support for a team made up of Israeli jurists and former diplomats as well as two foreign observers, according to media reports.
This would fall far short of the independent, international investigation which several world leaders have called for in the wake of the May 31 commando raid in which nine Turkish citizens were killed in the eastern Mediterranean.
The mass-selling Yediot Aharonot's front page headline of "Commission light" reflected the opinion of much of the Israeli media.