Israel 'nothing to hide' from UN flotilla probe

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2010
Israel will cooperate with the investigation

Israel will cooperate with the investigation

Israel has agreed to take part in the United Nations inquiry into the clash on a Gaza bound flotilla.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had “nothing to hide” and that the decision had been reached following discussions with senior cabinet members.

In a statement Mr Netanyahu said they had confirmed first that the probe would have “a balanced and fair written mandate.”

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, said there would be a Turkish representative on the panel, which will begin work on August 10.

The four-strong international team will also consist of Geoffrey Palmer, the former prime minister of New Zealand, and the former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe.

Mr Netanyahu said: “It is in the national interest of the State of Israel to ensure that the factual truth of the overall flotilla events comes to light throughout the world.

“This is exactly the principle that we are advancing."

Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, wrote on Twitter that the inquiry will "investigate those behind the flotilla who masqueraded as human rights activists".

He added: “We would like all the facts to come to come to light, to prevent similar instances in the future.”

Israel has already set up its own inquiry, with international overseers, into the clash in which nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists died.

However until now they had been reluctant for the UN to hold an investigation.

By agreeing to participate Mr Netanyahu becomes the first Israeli prime minister to voluntarily let the UN probe an IDF operation.

Last updated: 12:01pm, August 3 2010