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Decision soon. Netanyahu Photo: Gil Yohanan
Decision soon. Netanyahu Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
Threatened to quit. Turkel Photo: Gil Yohanan
Threatened to quit. Turkel Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Turkel threatens to quit if committee's authority not expanded

In response to Gush Shalom petition claiming committee probing flotilla raid 'not serious,' State tells High Court political echelon examining possibly of granting it more authority

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 06.29.10, 20:33 / Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is examining the possibility of expanding the authority of the Turkel Committee, which is investigating the May 31 commando raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, Ynet has learned. 

 

On Tuesday Netanyahu decided that the issue will be debated in the coming days, therefore the committee will not convene during the next two weeks – until July 11.

 

The leftist Gush Shalom organization filed a petition with the High Court Tuesday demanding that the Turkel Committee be disbanded. The group clamed the committee was "not serious" and lacked any authority.

 

The State's response, filed by Osnat Mandel, head of the High Court Section of the State Prosecutor's Office, said the political echelon was examining several options in regards to Committee Chairman Jacob Turkel's demand to broaden the committee's authority.

 

Among other things, Turkel demanded that the committee be recognized as a state commission of inquiry and that two more members be added to the panel.

 

Turkel told Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman that he would resign if his demands are not met. The government has already authorized adding two more international law experts to the committee, but they have yet to be named.

 

The Turkel Committee held its first meeting on Monday. Retired Supreme Court Justice Turkel introduced the committee members – former Technion president Amos Horev and international law expert Professor Shabtai Rozen.

 

The two foreign observers who will sit alongside the panel are William David Trimble – a politician who led the peace agreement in north Ireland and former Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Forces Ken Watkin.

 

The two observers said they were privileged to be a part of the committee, and noted their determination to conduct a thorough probe.

 

Aviad Glickman contributed to the report

 

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