The Israeli government has established an internal inquiry into last month’s lethal raid on a Gaza bound aid flotilla.
The probe falls short of a UN proposal for a full international investigation but will include two foreign observers, former Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble and a Canadian military judge Ken Watkin. Neither will have any voting rights, however the White House has welcomed the move.
Nine activists were killed on May 31 when Israeli commandos stormed ships trying to break Israel’s closure of Gaza.
The International Red Cross has said the blockade of the coastal territory is a clear breach of international law.
Head of operations in the Middle East for the International Committee for the Red Cross Beatrice Megevand Roggo said: ‘‘The worst impact of the closure is that the economy of Gaza has been completely destroyed. Actually Gaza does not have an economy any longer. People are surviving thanks to the external assistance that comes in.’‘
Middle East envoy to the Quartet Tony Blair has also held talks with Israel to try to persuade it to let in more humanitarian goods to Gaza, something Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet is considering.