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Tuesday June 15, 2010 9:37 AM (EST+7)
Flotilla activists say will not cooperate with Israeli panel

Read more: Hanin Zoabi, Knesset, Freedom Flotilla, investigative committee, Turkel committee, aid convoy, Gaza convoy

RAMALLAH, June 15 (JMCC) - Israeli Knesset member Hanin Zoabi said Monday that she and other activists involved with the Freedom Flotilla would not cooperate with a state panel examining Israel's interception of the flotilla's six boats last month.

I and everyone involved with the Freedom Flotilla does not trust and will not cooperate with this committee, which is prepared to find a legal justification for the Israeli crimes and improprieties committed against a convoy of freedom, said Zuabi.

The Israeli committee, approved by the cabinet Monday, is comprised of five members, headed by former judge Jacob Turkel, and observed by representatives from Ireland and Canada.

Israel said the committee would examine three issues: whether the boarding of the ship was justified, the use of violence in the interception, and the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip. It will not interview soldiers involved in the interception, during which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed. Israel has said its soldiers were attacked while boarding the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-flagged vessel.

The establishment of this committee is designed to absorb international anger and claims at the international court as provided for in international law, said Zoabi. The only female Arab-Israeli member of Knesset was aboard the Mavi Marmara and says that she saw no one use weapons against Israeli soldiers.

Jamal Khodari, a Gaza parliamentarian involved in coordinating the convoys, called the Israeli commission farcical.

We insist on the formation of a neutral international commission of inquiry in line with the decision of the United Nations security council, says Khodari.

He says Palestinians and their supporters will seek to present their case in international courts, and continue to bring aid convoys to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip.






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