Israel Trying to Prevent Intl. Probe

Israel is looking for ways to prevent an independent investigation into its deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid convoy on May 31 which killed and wounded many activists.

The UK-based newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday that Britain last week circulated a document outlining proposals to ease the blockade. It quoted an unnamed Western source informed on the talks with Israel as saying, "A quid pro quo deal is in the offing."

On the blockade, the report said that Israel has been asked to ease access into Gaza at crossings and allow the UN to convey material needed to rebuild 60,000 homes destroyed or damaged in the 2008-09 Israeli offensive on the Palestinian enclave.

The paper said the plan proposed by Britain falls short of what the international community first said it wanted.

Israel is faced with mounting pressure to explain why the activists on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla were attacked first, given the fact that the tragic took place in international waters.

Turkey, whose citizens died on the flotilla, earlier said normalization of ties with Israel would be "out of the question" if Tel Aviv failed to agree to an international investigation.

Israeli officials could even be tried over the incident in the International Court of Justice.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul has already initiated a probe in which Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is the prime suspect behind the assault, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Israeli army’s General Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi are regarded as potential perpetrators.

Israel’s efforts to evade an international probe come while twenty-one Asian and Middle Eastern countries at a security summit in Istanbul expressed "grave concern and condemnation" over the attack on the humanitarian aid fleet.

(Press TV)

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