Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday called for the establishment of an Israeli commission of inquiry to investigate the raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla, during which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.
Lieberman said the investigation must be supervised by impartial foreign officials. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer announced earlier that he supports the establishment of an international commission of inquiry to probe Monday's calamitous raid.
"I have no fear of an investigation committee into the operation against the Gaza-bound flotilla. We should not be afraid of any commission of inquiry. I spoke to the prime minister while he was in Canada. I told him there was nothing to be afraid of and that we should set up a transparent commission of inquiry headed by a senior judge, such as former Supreme Court presidents Aharon Barak or Meir Shamgar," the FM told Ynet. "If they'll ask to include foreign overseers in the probe – we'll include them."
As for the Irish-owned ship Rachel Corrie, which is attempting to reach Gaza, the foreign minister said that "we are in touch with Ireland. In any case, we won't let the boat reach the shores of Gaza. We've explained this to the Irish."
Asked whether he would suggest military action against the Rachel Corrie, Lieberman said once again, "We won't let the Irish ship reach Gaza's shores."
He said the army was drawing the necessary lessons from the raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, adding "there is no doubt that they (IDF) will be better prepared for the next ship."
The foreign minister criticized the UN Human Rights Council's decision to launch an international investigation into the raid. "We've already seen the term 'human rights' with Judge (Richard) Goldstone, who is responsible for 18 death sentences during the apartheid regime in South Africa," he said.
Lieberman said Washington's response to the flotilla affair was encouraging on the whole. "The latest statements from officials in the US administration were very clear and very objective. There are problems and we don't see eye-to-eye on everything, but I'm not concerned."
US Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview on PBS's "Charlie Rose" show Wednesday that "Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest.
"They (Israel) have said, 'Here you go. You're in the Mediterranean. This ship -- if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we'll get the stuff into Gaza." So what's the big deal here?" Biden said, "What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza?"