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US backs Israeli flotilla probe

The US has again spoken favorably of an Israeli probe into its own military assault on a Gaza-bound aid convoy that killed and injured dozens of human rights activists.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice asserted Sunday that a Tel Aviv investigation into the recent Israeli attack on the aid convoy, which killed and injured over 70 civilian activists, would be a “credible” one, Reuters reported.

The incident saw Israeli commandos killing at least 20 people in an attack on the international Freedom Flotilla relief mission. Israeli forces also detained 700 activists on board the convoy, which was sailing in international waters at the time of the assault, to break Tel Aviv’s three-year siege of the impoverished Gaza Strip. Many of the detained reported beatings and mistreatment by Israeli forces after their release.

Remarks by Rice contradict an earlier statement by State Department spokesman Philip Crowley that endorsed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s demand for an international inquiry.

“We understand that the international participation in investigating these matters will be important to the credibility everybody wants to see,” he said last Tuesday.

Washington has so far has refused to join the worldwide condemnation of the Israeli assault that also involved.

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