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Israel threatens to withdraw from Gaza flotilla international inquiry
08-11-2010, 05:47 PM,
#1
Israel threatens to withdraw from Gaza flotilla international inquiry
Quote:Officials accused the United Nations of reneging on a secret deal in which the Jewish state agreed to co-operate with a foreign investigation into its deadly naval commando raid – as long as no member of the Israeli armed forces was required to take the witness box.

The row threatened to undermine the UN inquiry on the day it convened for the first time.

It came shortly after Ban Ki-moon publicly denied reports that the panel would not question any of the Israeli servicemen involved in the botched raid. Nine Turkish activists were killed during a mêlée with naval commandos who seized control of the ships in order to prevent them entering Gaza, which is under an Israeli naval blockade.

“There was no such agreement behind the scenes,” Mr Ban said, adding that the panel could ask to question servicemen if it did so in co-ordination with the Israeli government.

But officials in the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, immediately challenged Mr Ban’s response.

“The prime minister said Israel would not co-operate with any commission that would ask to question soldiers,” Nir Hefetz, Mr Netanyahu’s spokesman, said.

“Before Israel gave the green light to its participation in the panel we had discreet negotiations in order to ensure that this commission would not harm the vital interests of Israel.”

On Monday, Mr Netanyahu, testifying before a separate domestic inquiry into the incident, accused Turkey of repeatedly ignoring Israeli advice that could have prevented the deaths of the activists.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7937357/Israel-threatens-to-withdraw-from-Gaza-flotilla-international-inquiry.html
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