AL welcomes UN probe into Israeli attack on aid flotilla

21:05, August 03, 2010      

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The Arab League (AL) welcomed on Tuesday a UN decision to establish a panel to investigate the May 31 Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, in which eight Turks and an American of Turkish origin were killed.

AL Secretary General Amr Moussa said in a press release that the decision will have positive impact on the whole situation in the Middle East, describing it as a "positive step."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday announced the setting-up of a panel of inquiry into Israel's attack against the Freedom Flotilla on May 31.

The panel will be led by "eminent personalities," including former Prime Minister of New Zealand Geoffrey Palmer, who will be the panel chair, and outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who will be the vice-chair, Ban said.

With two additional members from Israel and Turkey respectively, the panel will begin its work on August 10 and submit the first progress report by mid-September, the secretary-general said.

Israeli navy commando troops boarded the pro-Palestinian international aid flotilla on May 31 and clashed with activists on one of the ships. The violence left nine dead and dozens wounded.

The UN Security Council adopted on June 1 a presidential statement, calling for "a transparent, credible, impartial and rapid inquiry, in line with international criteria."

The Israeli cabinet later then approved its own inquiry panel which was headed by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Yaakov Tirkel and included two foreign observers.

Source: Xinhua


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