UN Security Council welcomes intl. probe into Freedom Flotilla seizure

By RIA Novosti,

United Nations : The UN Security Council has welcomed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s decision to establish an independent international commission to investigate Israel’s seizure of a humanitarian convoy in late May, Russia’s envoy to the UN said.

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Ban on Monday notified the UN Security Council of the establishment of a four-person commission, led by ex-New Zealand premier Geoffrey Palmer, to investigate Israel’s attack on the Freedom Flotilla.

The commission will also comprise an Israeli representative, a Turkish representative and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. It is to present its first report by mid-September.

“The members of the Security Council welcomed the establishment by the UN secretary general of a commission to investigate the May 31 Freedom Flotilla incident. The Security Council members hope for the successful implementation by the commission of its mandate,” Vitaly Churkin said.

The Israeli military stormed the Freedom Flotilla ships in neutral waters in the Mediterranean Sea as they tried to take 10,000 tons of aid to the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade for the past three years.

The raid claimed the lives of at least 9 activists, eight of them Turkish nationals. Three Turkish ships were seized and taken to Israeli ports. Israel blamed the Freedom Flotilla participants and organizers for the violence, accusing them of links to international terrorism.

Israel maintained its opposition to an international investigation, and only notified the UN secretary general of a change in its position on Monday.