Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Police 'chokehold' caused NYC death, coroner rules

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

middle east - do not use

PM Netanyahu to testify in flotilla-raid inquiry

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-04

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would testify before an Israeli commission investigating the deadly military raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, even while the mandate of the investigation remained limited.

REUTERS - Israel’s cabinet granted wider powers on Sunday to a commission investigating a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, enabling the panel to compel witnesses to appear and testify under oath.
 
But the decision did not constitute a broadening of the inquiry’s mandate to include an examination of Israeli political leaders’ decision-making in ordering the May 31 interception in which nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed.
 
A government statement said the cabinet granted the five-man panel led by former Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel subpoena powers and that witnesses would be sworn in, effectively exposing them to perjury charges for any false testimony.
 
Turkel had asked the government for those specific powers and has said he would summon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Israel’s military chief, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi to appear.
 
Netanyahu has said he, Barak and Ashkenazi would testify.  Other military personnel are not due to appear before the panel but will be questioned in a separate military investigation.
 
Amid an international outcry over the raid, Israel had rejected a proposal by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for an international inquiry, but appointed two foreign observers— David Trimble, a Northern Ireland politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Canadian jurist Ken Watkin— to the panel.
 
International law
 
Turkel has said the commission’s mandate calls for an examination of whether Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the flotilla’s interception conformed with international law.
 
It also will investigate the actions of the convoy’s organisers and participants.
 
Due to the limited scope of the inquiry, it is seen as unlikely to pose any political threat to Netanyahu’s government.
 
outrage follows ship raid
The flotilla incident has soured Israel’s strategic ties with Turkey, an important Islamic ally, which recalled its ambassador and cancelled joint military exercises.
 
 
Israel has said its commandos were enforcing a blockade necessary to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip and that they opened fire when activists with knives and clubs assaulted a boarding party.
 
In response to Western criticism, including from its biggest ally, the United States, Israel has since eased a land blockade of Gaza where 1.5 million Palestinians live, allowing most civilian goods through, while continuing to enforce the naval embargo of the coastal territory.

 

Date created : 2010-07-04

  • DIPLOMACY

    Israel and Turkey in secret talks to ease flotilla crisis

    Read more

  • MIDDLE EAST

    Israel urges UN to suspend flotilla raid probe

    Read more

  • ISRAEL

    Israel details its plan to ease Gaza blockade

    Read more

COMMENT(S)