The Marmara
Photo: Reuters
Prof. Amnon Rubinstein
Photo: Tzvika Tishler
PM's Office mulls flotilla probe format
Prime Minister Netanyahu's bid for Israeli commission of inquiry with foreign observers to look into Gaza sail raid gaining momentum, as various international, maritime law experts are considered

Israel is trying to compile a list of candidates to head an inquiry into the naval raid of the Gaza aid sail. The Prime Minister's Office plans to approach some of Israel's leading jurisprudents with a request to head the commission, which is likely to include foreign observers.


Monday saw Jerusalem continue negotiations on the matter with the United States and the UN, prior to a government vote.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to form an Israeli commission of inquiry into the deadly raid – which would be headed by Israeli experts on international and maritime law, who would be joined by foreign observers – is garnering support.


The proposed commission would question only members of the political echelon, and the IDF's position would be presented via the military inquest into the raid, which determined that Israel, for the most part, operated appropriately.


The seven-minister forum, which includes – apart form Netanyahu – Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon, Minister of Intelligence Services Dan Meridor, Minister Benny Begin (Likud) and Shas Chairman Eli Yishai, is set to mull the option further on Tuesday, prior to presenting it to the government for a vote, on Sunday.


While the names of the legalists the Prime Minister's Office would like to see on the list are kept confidential, Foreign Minister Lieberman said in an interview conducted last week that former Justice Minister Prof. Daniel Friedmann, former Chief Justice Meir Shamgar and former Minister Prof. Amnon Rubinstein were possible candidates.


Rubinstein told Ynet he had not been approached on the matter, adding that should he be asked, he would agree to be a part of such a commission only if it were given full authority.


A commission of inquiry, he said, should be formed according to the provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Law (1968), which would give it full authority to question witnesses.


It is unclear at this time whether this proposal could mature into a de facto commission, or even whether a list of candidates – including the foreign observers – would be included in the brief prepared for the government vote.


Aviad Glickman contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 06.07.10, 23:27
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