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      PM Netanyahu: Inquiry Must Investigate Flotilla Organizers

      Netanyahu says the probe must also find answers to questions such as, "Who funded the flotilla, and how and why did weapons get on the ship?"
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 6/10/2010, 9:47 AM / Last Update: 6/10/2010, 9:51 AM

      Israel

      Speaking at the Marker Financial Conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu began with a few notable remarks on the world community's demand for an inquiry into Israel's response to the provocative flotilla of last week. Netanyahu said the inquiry must investigate those who organized the flotilla, and their motives, as well.

      "We are consulting with several figures within the international community," Netanyahu said, "regarding the appropriate procedure of inquiry that will corroborate all the facts relating to the Gaza flotilla. We know the truth and the people of Israel know the truth."

      Who is behind the radical group on the deck of the ship? Who funded its members? How did axes, clubs, knives and other types of cold weapons find their way on to the ship?

      "The Minister of Defense, Ministers, the Chief of Staff and I are prepared to testify and provide all the unembellished facts. But I remain firm in my position that, as always, the IDF will be the only organization to question our soldiers. This is the custom in our allies' armies and we shall behave in a similar fashion.  

      "But I ask that the whole truth come to light, and therefore the inquiry must also include answers to certain questions that many in the international community prefer to ignore: 

      "Who is behind the radical group on the deck of the ship? Who funded its members? How did axes, clubs, knives and other types of cold weapons find their way on to the ship? Why were extremely large sums of money found in the pockets of those people on the deck of the ship? Who was this money intended for? The world needs to know the whole picture, and we will ensure that the whole picture is made public."

      Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday night that a final decision on who will investigate the flotilla events will be made by this Sunday. It currently appears that an Israeli team of lawyers, accompanied by two foreign observers, will perform the inquiry. The mini-cabinet of seven top Israeli cabinet ministers convened on Wednesday to discuss the matter.