“Israel probe tradeoff” 16Jun10 June 17, 2010

The Age: “ Israel probe tradeoff” 16 June 2010

Britain, the US and France have agreed to allow Israel to mount its own investigation into the deaths of nine Turkish activists on board the Gaza aid flotilla in exchange for it lifting many of its restrictions on the passage of aid into the besieged territory, according to diplomatic sources.

Tony Blair, the Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the US, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, said he expected Israel to ease its three-year blockade within days.

The role of former Northern Ireland leader Lord David Trimble as an inquiry observer has been queried because he is a high-profile supporter of Israel. He recently joined the Friends of Israel, an advocacy group led by a close adviser to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

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