Panel to Investigate Flotilla Incident in Gaza
Ban Ki-moon says that for the last two months authorities of Israel and Turkey have convened and engaged in consultations about this panel. He also thanked the leaders of the two nations for their co-operation and moderation.
The chairman of the panel will be Geoffrey Palmer, former PM of New Zealand, and vice-chairman will be Alvaro Uribe, outgoing President of Colombia, the one and the same president Chavez accuses of wishing to overthrow him. Each of the litigating states will have a representative of its own.
Israel maintains that its soldiers opened fire after they were attacked with knives and other objects by passengers of Mavi Marmara. The Turkish people reply that they were attacked without provocation.
Israel asserts that since Gaza is run by Islamist movement Hamas, all in-going cargo must be checked by the Israeli forces, so that no weapon be smuggled into the territory.
The incident in May created a rapid deterioration of mutual relations between Israel and Turkey. As a result Israel had to move its military exercises on Romanian territory, where they lost a chopper that crashed in the Carpathian Mountains.
During his visit in Turkey, British PM, David Cameron assured the Turkish authorities that the matter will be carefully looked into, in hopes that the case may be closed there and the two countries could resume their prior friendly relations.11