Commission Head Requests Increased Powers in Flotilla Probe
Israeli daily, Haaretz, is reporting that Israel will impart the commission to investigate the massacre aboard the MV Mavi Marmara with greater authority, yet it still will not be allowed to question the soldiers involved.
Ya’akov Turkel, the former Israeli Supreme Court justice that heads the probe, informed the Israeli government that, with the restrictions imposed on the probe, he and his team would be unable to fulfill their duties.Channel 2 television is also claiming that Turkel threatened to resign.
The commission is to investigate whether Operation Sea Breeze, the codename given to the assault, was in accordance with international law, and whether the force used in the assault on the Mavi Marmara was to be deemed proportionate. The committee may not call witnesses and cannot conclude upon the actions of individual members of the operation.
Turkel’s desire is to turn the probe into a full judicial hearing, giving him the freedom to call witnesses and any documents relating to the incident, and wants to expand the panel to five members, instead of three, not including the international observers.
Turkel approached Israel’s Justice Minister, Ya’akov Ne’eman, who in turn discussed the issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu. Haaretz also stated in their report that Netenyahu has also discussed the matter with Israel’s Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, with all agreeing that Netenyahu should formally consider the request.
At the time of writing no decision has been released to the press.
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