France, Britain want int’l Israel probe
The foreign ministers of France and Britain have urged an international investigation into a recent Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid convoy, which left nine people dead.
Speaking at a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner late on Sunday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague stressed the need for “a credible and transparent investigation.”
“There should be an international presence at minimum,” AFP quoted Hague as saying.
Meanwhile, Kouchner noted that an international investigation was needed as several countries were involved in the fatal incident.
The French minister also offered to defuse the crisis by monitoring cargo on board the aid ships heading to Gaza.
“We (the European Union) could very well check the cargo of ships heading to Gaza…We would be very willing to do it,” Kouchner proposed.
Earlier on Sunday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a request made by the UN for “a credible and impartial inquiry” into the deadly Israeli commando assault on the Gaza-bound aid convoy.
Nine people died on May 31 when Israeli soldiers opened fire on the Turkish vessel M.V. Mavi Marmara as it attempted to transport humanitarian assistance to the besieged Gaza Strip.
Twenty-eight children lost their fathers as a result of the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla aid convoy.
While many countries have called for an international inquiry into the attack, Israel’s ambassador to the United States rejected their demand, arguing that “Israel is a democracy. Israel has the ability and the right to investigate itself, not to be investigated by any international board.”