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Israel's Barak Calls Off Trip to France


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has canceled a visit to Paris where he was to take part in an international military exhibition, and meet with the French defense and foreign ministers.

Israel's defense ministry said Sunday that Barak has decided to remain in Israel until a panel of experts is formed to investigate the raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Earlier this month, Israel drew international criticism after its soldiers killed nine pro-Palestinian activists who were part of a flotilla that was trying to break a blockade and deliver aid directly to Gaza.

French activists said they plan on filing a lawsuit against Barak in France, as well as with the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands.

Barak told Israel's parliament last week that an internal inquiry will aim to establish whether Israel's raid on the ship, and its Gaza blockade, are in keeping with international law.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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