UN flotilla inquiry submits first report to Ban 16Sep10 September 17, 2010

Ma’an News Agency  -  16 September 2010

The inquiry panel established by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to investigate the lethal Israeli attack on an aid ship bound for Gaza delivered its first report to the official, and said investigations were proceeding smoothly.

“[P]roceedings have been conducted in a positive and collegial manner,” a statement from Ban said following his meeting with the panel, noting that the investigation was in full swing and would be able to “respond to the high international concern that has been expressed concerning the incident,” his spokesman told the UN news on Wednesday.

The panel told Ban that it had obtained the internal reports from Israel and Turkey on the 31 May incident, which saw Israeli commandos kill 8 Turkish nationals and one dual US-Turkish citizen.

An Israeli military investigation into the incident found that its soldiers had “operated properly, with professionalism, bravery and resourcefulness.” The report also noted, however, that “alternative courses of action could have existed had the process of preparation begun enough time in advance.”

A civilian inquiry was later appointed under Israeli justice Ya’acov Tirkel, and charged with determining whether the raid abided with international law and used proportionate force. The inquiry was told it would not be permitted to question soldiers or examine the government’s approval of the raid.

The 4-person UN investigation team, mandated on 2 June, days after the attack on the flotilla shocked the international community, but appointed only after Israel’s military investigation failed to find fault with personnel, began its work in July.

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