WASHINGTON – While the United Nations secretary-general continues to support the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into the deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, Lebanon and Turkey are the only Security Council members to object to the committee appointed by Israel, a diplomatic source told Ynet on Tuesday following a Security Council discussion.
Some of the 15 members' representatives welcomed the establishment of the Israeli committee, calling it an "important move". Others said they had "taken note" of the Israeli decision and would monitor the committee's performance.
Meanwhile, the Politico website reported that the United States was the only Security Council member not to voice its support for a commission of inquiry on behalf of the UN.
According to the website, during a periodical Council discussion on the situation in the Middle East, 14 of its members expressed their support for a commission of inquiry which would be appointed by the UN chief.
The US, which has been working behind the scenes to lay the ground for an internal Israeli investigation – that would be presented as reliable, transparent and independent – and which welcomed its appointment, has refused to support a UN commission of inquiry.
According to Politico, the advocates of a UN investigation have reached the conclusion that the matter should not be decided by the Security Council, where it could be vetoed by the US, but that the UN chief should be allowed to appoint an investigation team.
The website quoted an American official as saying that Washington would ensure that Israel would not be treated unfairly at the UN.
The establishment of a UN commission of inquiry is not on the agenda at this stage. The UN secretary-general's idea to appoint an international investigating panel has yet to mature into a working program.
Ban's spokesman said Monday that the UN chief's "proposal for an international inquiry remains on the table and he hopes for a positive Israeli response."