Israel rejects international inquiry into lethal raid
2010 06 07
By Jeffrey Heller | Reuters.com
Israel rejected 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 and said it had the right to launch its own inquiry.
"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 program "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.
Netanyahu discussed the proposal for a multinational panel with Ban in a telephone call Saturday but told cabinet ministers from his right-wing Likud party Sunday that Israel was exploring other options, political sources said.
Nine Turks were killed Monday in the Israeli commando raid on the Mavi Marmara, part of a six-vessel convoy that set out to challenge an Israeli-led blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Israel has said its troops used lethal force in self-defense after they were set upon by pro-Palestinian activists wielding clubs and knives.
Israeli leaders have spoken publicly about setting up an internal investigation with foreign observers into the interception of the Turkish-flagged ship off the coast of Gaza, an enclave run by Hamas Islamists who oppose Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s peace efforts with Israel.
"Israel is a democratic nation. 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 rejection 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.
Turkey’s relations with Israel, once a close ally, have soured badly since the deadly raid.
Israel’s navy boarded another ship carrying aid and pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza Saturday. Its interception of the Irish-owned MV Rachel Corrie ended without violence following diplomatic efforts to avoid bloodshed.
"I want to pay tribute to the crew of the Rachel Corrie for demonstrating in no uncertain terms their peaceful intentions," Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin told Irish public radio RTE. "We of course communicated that relentlessly to the Israeli authorities."
An Israeli official said Israel wanted to establish whether the Turkish government had sponsored the Mavi Marmara, where the strength of the resistance to the boarding party appeared to have caught the Israeli military off guard. Israel has said seven of its troops were wounded.
Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting that a smaller group of "violent extremists" had boarded the ship separately with the intention of clashing with troops.
Photographs obtained by Reuters Sunday that were shot on board the Mavi Marmara showed bleeding and cowering Israeli troops surrounded by activists.
The photographs were taken by a member of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid, or IHH, which organized the convoy, said spokesman Salih Bilici.
Israeli authorities confiscated activists’ cameras and erased the memory cards but the IHH was able to recover photos on one camera using special software, Bilici said.
There are no pictures of outright violence but many of the photographs show puddles of blood on the floor or streaks smeared across walls.
Israel has said it must prevent arms smuggling to Gaza, and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Sunday the European Union could help monitor traffic into the territory.
"We can propose again that the European Union, European countries, monitor this passage in a very strict manner ... We can very well monitor the cargoes of ships going to Gaza," he told reporters.
France and Britain offered to send warships to monitor and prevent arms smuggling to Gaza following Israel’s 22-day offensive in the Palestinian Hamas-ruled territory that ended in January last year.
Together with Egypt, Israel tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip after Hamas Islamists took over the coastal territory in 2007 in fighting with forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
World pressure has mounted on Israel to lift the blockade which the U.N. said has caused a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and hampers efforts to rebuild homes and infrastructure destroyed in a 2009 war. Israel says its frequent transfer of basic goods to the territory has staved off any such crisis.
Article from: euters.com
Israel seizes new Gaza-bound aid ship
Top Jewish Rabbis condemn Israeli Flotilla Massacre
Israel ’had no choice’ over raid
Deadly Israeli Raid Draws Condemnation
Turkey: Future Gaza Aid Ships Will Have Military Escorts
Latest News from our Front Page
DARPA’s mirror-killing membrane could change astronomy, allow total global surveillance
2013 12 06
When it launches in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope will let us see deeper into the universe than ever before. Its enormous eye is centered around 18 octagonal mirrors which assemble to form the largest telescope mirror ever built, but someday even the James Webb Telescope (formerly the Next-Gen Space Telescope) will outlive its usefulness — and then what ...
The Nightwatchman: Crime-predicting robot aims to patrol our streets and schools
2013 12 06
Get Ready. They’ll be watching.
These new robots that are an unnerving mix between Star Wars’ R2-D2 and Doctor Who’s Daleks, are being touted as the new way to "monitor, map, and secure" the humans around them.
The robots are purported to replace security guards and watchmen, in a bid to reduce labor costs and streamline surveillance.
A company in California ...
Microsoft’s Smart Bra Will Monitor Mood & Reduce Overeating
2013 12 06
Microsoft is designing a “smart bra” that will monitor women’s health by tracking their heart rate, her emotional state, whether or not she is over-eating and more.
Sensors in the bra detect when the wearer is bored, stressed or discouraged and send a warning signal to the woman’s smartphone that she should caution from making bad food choices.
In a paper entitled, ...
“Saint” Mandela? Not So Fast!
2013 12 06
President Barack Obama has compared him to George Washington. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews heralded him as “perhaps the world’s greatest hero.”
The Las Vegas Guardian Express dispensed with the “perhaps,” declaring in headline: “Nelson Mandela World’s Greatest Hero.”
Others have christened him “the greatest man of the 20th century.” Many revere him as “the savior” of South Africa. School children worldwide read books, ...
The Legacy of Nelson Mandela: A Dissenting Opinion
2013 12 06
Nelson Mandela, rights activist, political icon and former president of South Africa, dies age 95
There is no doubt that Nelson Mandela suffered for his cause of an end to bloody apartheid, racial segregation and government oppression in South Africa:
[Mandela was a] South African anti-apartheid revolutionary as well as a politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa ...
|More News » |