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Israel’s Flotilla probe a cover-up

9 August 2010 17:00

Hamas insists the Israeli probe into the assault on the Gaza-bound international aid convoy cannot be trusted, describing it as a cover-up for Tel Aviv’s crimes.

Israel has set up an investigation committee mainly aimed at covering its crimes and “We don’t trust this committee…Israel cannot be the murderer and the judge at the same time,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a press release on Monday.

Barhoum called on the international community to put Israel under pressure to cooperate with a UN appointed panel to investigate the Flotilla tragedy, Xinhua reported.

On May 31, the Israeli military attacked the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla of international aid in the Mediterranean Sea, in international waters, killing 20 activists onboard the Turkish-flagged M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.

In June, Israel set up a five-member inquiry panel – including only two foreign observers with limited powers – under growing global pressure for an international investigation into the deadly incident.

The committee was mandated to examine the legality, under international law, of Israel’s naval blockade on the Gaza Strip and of actions taken to enforce it, as well as the actions of the activists onboard the Turkish-flagged Gaza Freedom Flotilla on their blockade-busting journey.

Panel members are not authorized to probe the decision-making process which led up to the operation, nor do they have the authority to question troops involved in the fatal onslaught.

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