Russia Says Israel's Probe into Flotilla Attack Must Meet International Standards

Russia praised on Tuesday Israel's decision to hold its own investigation into the storming of a humanitarian aid convoy but said the probe should be in line with international standards.

Israeli commandos stormed on May 31 the six-ship Freedom Flotilla in international waters off the coast of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as it carried some 10,000 tons of aid and up to 700 human rights activists to the Palestinian enclave, RIA Novosti informs.

Israel ’s inquiry into the flotilla raid, to be called the Independent Public Commission, will be led by a retired Israeli Supreme Court justice, Jacob Turkel. It will include two Israeli experts in international law and two foreign observers — Lord David Trimble, a Nobel Peace laureate from Northern Ireland, and Brig. Gen. Ken Watkin, former judge advocate general of the Canadian Forces — whose inclusion is intended to add credibility to the inquiry and to secure foreign support for it.

In Washington, the White House press secretary issued a statement hailing the Israeli announcement as an “important step forward.” The statement added that “the structure and terms of reference of Israel’s proposed independent public commission can meet the standard of a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation,” as sought by the United Nations Security Council, New York Times says.

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