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Israeli Flotilla Inquiry to Question PM Netanyahu

PM Benjamin Netanyahu

June 28. 2010

(VOA) The Israeli commission investigating last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla plans to summon Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to testify.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel, who is leading the inquiry commission, said Monday Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi will also be called to appear before the panel.

The group is investigating the events leading up to the deaths of eight Turks and one Turkish-American on a ship trying to break the three-year-old Gaza blockade.

The investigation commission, which began work Monday, includes two other Israelis — an international law expert and a former general.

Under international pressure, the Israeli government also included two foreign observers on the panel — David Trimble, a Nobel peace laureate and Northern Ireland politician, and Canada’s former chief military prosecutor, General Ken Watkin.

Trimble said all the panel members are determined to make the inquiry rigorous and hope it will contribute to peace.

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Gen. Ken Watkin, center, Canada’s former chief military prosecutor, and David Trimble, right, Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland arrive for the opening session of the Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, in Jerusalem, Monday, June 28, 2010. The Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla will summon Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to testify, the chief investigator announced as the five-member panel began work Monday. (Photo : Getty)

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Brig. Gen. Ken Watkin, left, Canada’s former chief military prosecutor, and David Trimble, Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland and a member of the British House of Lords, attend the opening session of the Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, in Jerusalem, Monday, June 28, 2010. The Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla will summon Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to testify, the chief investigator announced as the five-member panel began work Monday. (Photo : Getty)

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Retired Israeli Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel (L) and Major General in reserves Amos Horev attend the opening statement of a commission of inquiry into a deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, in Jerusalem June 28, 2010. Israel’s prime minister and defence chief will be called to testify in an investigation into the raid, Turkel, the leader of the Israeli commission, said in an opening statement on Monday. (Photo : Getty)

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Retired Israeli Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel (2nd R), leader of an Israeli commission of inquiry into a deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, observers Canadian jurist Ken Watkin (L) and Northern Ireland politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate David Trimble (2nd L), International Law professor Shabtai Rosen (C) and Major General in reserve Amos Horev (R) attend the commission’s opening statement in Jerusalem June 28, 2010. Israel’s prime minister and defence chief will be called to testify in an investigation into the raid, the leader of the commission of inquiry said in the opening statement on Monday. (Photo : Getty)

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Northern Ireland politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate David Trimble, an observer on an Israeli commission of inquiry into a deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, listens during the commission’s opening statement in Jerusalem June 28, 2010. Israel’s prime minister and defence chief will be called to testify in an investigation into the raid, the leader of the commission of inquiry said in the opening statement on Monday. (Photo : Getty)

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David Trimble, Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland, listens during the opening session of the Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, in Jerusalem, Monday, June 28, 2010. The Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla will summon the country’s prime minister to testify, the chief investigator announced as the five-member panel began work Monday. (Photo : Getty)

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Brig. Gen. Ken Watkin, left, Canada’s former chief military prosecutor, and David Trimble, Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland, take part at the opening session of the Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, in Jerusalem, Monday, June 28, 2010. The Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla will summon the country’s prime minister to testify, the chief investigator announced as the five-member panel began work Monday. (Photo ; Getty)

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From left to right: Brig. Gen. Ken Watkin, Canada’s former chief military prosecutor, David Trimble, Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland and a member of the British House of Lords, and Shabtai Rosen, 93-year-old international jurist, arrive for the opening session of the Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, in Jerusalem, Monday, June 28, 2010. The Israeli commission of inquiry into last month’s deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla will summon Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to testify, the chief investigator announced as the five-member panel began work Monday. (Photo : Getty)

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