The lethal raid that left nine people dead on board a Gaza-bound ship should be investigated by a committee headed by New Zealand's former prime minister, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says.
The UN chief initiated the proposal, which would see an Israeli and a Turkish deputy working alongside ex-New Zealand PM Geoffrey Palmer.
The proposal was handed over to Israel over the weekend and had not yet received a response from Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministry did not reject the offer out of hand, and the forum of top seven government ministers will be discussing Sunday various options for probing the lethal raid.
At this time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tends to agree to a global inquiry, with US involvement. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants the inquiry to be headed by a senior Israeli jurist, with the involvement of foreign observers.
Senior sources in Jerusalem say that the prime minister has already formulated his stance, but has not yet made it public. Netanyahu believes that Israel has nothing to hide in respect to the raid on the MV Marmara tjat left nine people dead and about 40 wounded.
Turkey pressuredOfficials in Jerusalem believe that international involvement in the inquiry will make it easier to fight back the de-legitimization campaign currently being waged against Israel. Such inquiry would make it clear to the world that Israel acted in line with international law, and that IDF soldiers showed restraint until it was clear they were facing a life-threatening situation, officials say.
PM Netanyahu apparently supports the position articulated by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who insists that such commission of inquiry would not be given the mandate to interrogate IDF officers and soldiers.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials are attempting to allay tensions vis-à-vis Turkey. At this time, the US is exerting behind-the-scenes pressure on the Erdogan government, and this along with pressure by other Western states such as Germany may force Ankara to mitigate its anti-Israel statements.
However, Israel officials are not too hopeful in respect to Erdogan. "We've seen enough rash and unpredictable steps on his part since January 2009, as he moved closer to Iran and to radical Islam," one official said.