News / Middle East

Israel Rejects UN Proposal for Gaza Probe

Israel has rejected a proposal from United Nations Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to establish a multinational commission to investigate a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told cabinet ministers Sunday that he had informed Mr. Ban of his decision.  He said he told the U.N. chief an investigation of facts needed to be carried out "responsibly and objectively."

Israel's U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren, told "Fox News Sunday" Israel had the ability and right to conduct its own investigation.

Mr. Ban proposed establishing a panel led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer to investigate last Monday's Israeli commando raid that killed nine international activists.

The raid outraged Turkey and many other nations. Eight Turkish citizens and one American of Turkish origin were killed in the Israeli raid.

The Mavi Marmara ship was part of an aid convoy that was trying to break a three-year-old Israeli blockade and deliver aid directly to Gaza.

On Saturday, Israeli forces peacefully seized control of the Rachel Corrie, another aid ship trying to reach Gaza.  

Israel continues the process of deporting international activists from the Rachel Corrie. Israeli forces escorted the ship to the port of Ashdod Saturday after intercepting the vessel as it approached Gaza.

The Irish aid ship was named after Rachel Corrie, an activist with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement.  The 23-year-old Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip while trying to keep Israeli soldiers from bulldozing a Palestinian home in 2003.

During Israel's Sunday cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a group of activists boarded the Mavi Marmara in a way that allowed them to avoid a security check.  He said they had the sole intention of initiating a violent confrontation with Israeli soldiers.

Listen to Elizabeth Arrott: Aid to Gaza Strip Arriving from Egypt

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