Turkey demands int’l inquiry c’tee
The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Monday on Israel's deadly commando raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, with the Palestinians, Turkey and Arab nations demanding condemnation and an independent investigation.
The Palestinians, Turkey and a number of other council members, also called for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza, immediately release the ships and humanitarian activists, and allow them to deliver their goods.
Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said in his briefing that the early morning bloodshed on Monday would have been avoided "if repeated calls on Israel to end the counterproductive and unacceptable blockade of Gaza had been heeded,"
After statements from the 15 council members as well as Israel and the Palestinians, the council moved into closed consultations to consider possible action.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whose country is serving a two-year term on the council, called the raid "banditry and piracy" on the high seas and "murder conducted by a state."
He urged the council to adopt a statement demanding an immediate Israeli apology, an urgent inquiry, international legal action against the authorities and perpetrators responsible, an end to the Gaza blockade, and release of the ships and activists.
'Israel regrets loss of innocent lives'
Israel's deputy UN ambassador Daniel Carmon said some of the flotilla passengers had "known terrorist histories,” and asked how men who were armed with bats and knives could be called “peace activists.”
He called the results "tragic and unfortunate" and reiterated that Israel "deeply regrets any loss of innocent lives, but it cannot jeopardize its security. Nobody would."
US urges full, credible Israeli investigation
US deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff, made no mention of an international probe, saying: "We expect a credible and transparent investigation and strongly urge the Israeli government to investigate the incident fully."
Wolff said the United States, "is deeply disturbed by the recent violence and regrets the tragic loss of life."
"We will continue to engage the Israelis on a daily basis to expand the scope and type of goods allowed into Gaza to address the full range of the population's humanitarian and recovery needs," Wolff said.