United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon continues to push for an international inquiry of last month's clash between IDF soldiers and Turkish activists. Israel has established an investigative committee with two foreign observers, but Ban deemed the committee insufficient. “What I have heard from most of the countries is that it is not sufficient enough to have international credibility,” he said.
UN officials said Ban is currently involved in discussions to see if an international committee could be set up in which both Turkey and Israel would participate.
"The Secretary-General's proposal is not incompatible with domestic inquiries. In fact, the two approaches are complimentary,” said UN envoy Robert Serry. “His proposal, accordingly, remains on the table.”
Ban's push for an international investigation came as Lebanon announced that it has approved the launch of a Gaza-bound flotilla from Tripoli. The boats will stop in Cyprus on their planned route to Gaza in order to abide by UN Resolution 1701, which calls for an end to hostilities between Israel and Lebanon and bans paramilitary activity south of Lebanon's Litani River.
The flotilla has been dubbed Mariam, and passengers will be female. One of the organizers, Samar Al-Haj, is suspected of ties to Hizbullah.
On Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Lebanon that if it allows its citizens to set sail for Gaza from its ports, it will bear the consequences. “I say clearly to the government of Lebanon: You are responsible for the boats leaving your ports, which have the clear and stated intention of trying to break the naval blockade on Gaza,” he said.
Turkish and other foreign activists formed a flotilla in May and attempted to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. The activists refused to turn aside, dock in Ashdod, and send their cargo through land crossings after inspection.
Israeli commandos boarded the ships in order to force them to change course. As soldiers boarded one ship, the Mavi Marmara, they were attacked by a group of several dozen Turkish men affiliated with the terrorist IHH. After several soldiers were wounded and three taken below deck, the IDF commandos were able to begin protecting themselves, and in the ensuing clash, killed nine of the attackers. Four of them had previously stated they hoped to die as Islamic martyrs. Turkey and the rest of the Muslim world harshly condemned Israel over the clash.