The committee, lead by Former International Criminal Court President Phillipe Kirsch, will investigate the deaths of nine Turkish citizens at the hands of Israeli naval commandos. Phillipe Kirsch, who has extensive experience in international investigations, will head the committee investigating the deaths of nine Turkish citizens who were on the Mavi Marmara which was headed to the besieged Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid.
The Human Rights Council decided to form the committee just 48 hours after reports were disseminated about the Israeli Navy’s clashes with the activists on board one of the ships of the flotilla.
Israeli news source Haaretz reported that diplomatic sources in New York felt the committee was being too hasty in it’s initiation of an investigation.
Finding the inquiry in Israel under former justice Jacob Turkel to be sufficient, the U.S., France and Britain are of the opinion that an international probe is not necessary.
The reluctance of the U.S. stems from a desire to catalyze the peace process, ‘As far as the U.S. administration is concerned, at a time when it is trying to resume the peace process, the investigation into the events of the flotilla at this time could not have come at a worst time,’ a diplomat in New York said yesterday.
Israel has faced criticism from the international community since the incident, the brunt of it coming from Turkey, which has threatened to cut all diplomatic ties with Israel if it does not apologize or submit to an international investigation; additionally, Turkey wants Israel to pay compensation to the families of the deceased Turkish citizens.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ruled out any chance of an official apology.
Asserting that Israel was not doing itself a favor by creating distance with Ankara, Turkish President Abdullah Gul stated, ‘They don’t have many friends in the region. Now it seems they want to get rid of the relationship with Turkey.’