Associated Press
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has agreed in principle to the establishment of a UN flotilla probe committee to investigate the incidents surrounding the IDF raid on a Turkish aid ship in May, Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Israel Radio reported Monday that Barak made the announcement during his recent trip to New York.

Former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer was expected to head the committee along with representatives from the US, the UN, Israel and Turkey.

Turkey at this point had not officially supplied the UN secretary general with an answer regarding its stance on a UN headed inquiry committee.

The secretary general has been urging Israel to agree to the "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards" that the UN Security Council called for on June 1.

Israel rebuffed pressure from the UN and Turkey for an international inquiry and instead formed its own commission headed by a retired Israeli Supreme Court justice with two international observers.

Ban said last month that Israel's own investigation into the flotilla raid "is important" but will not have "international credibility." He said that is the reason he continued to urge the Israeli government to agree to an international panel under a third party "in which both Turkey and Israel would actively participate."

Pressed last month on why he did not go ahead and appoint an international commission, the secretary-general said without Israel's "full cooperation it would be extremely difficult to have a full and credible investigation, and that is why even if it may take time, I'm discussing this matter with (the) Israeli government."


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