UNITED NATIONS FLOTILLA PANEL WON’T ASSIGN BLAME

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UN chief convenes first meeting of panel appointed to investigate IDF flotilla raid, says members must seek ways to examine and identify circumstances, context of incident
and recommend ways of avoiding future incidents

By Yitzhak Benhorin
Ynetnews.com

WASHINGTON – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened a panel investigating the IDF raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla Tuesday for the first time since the members were appointed.

Ban met former prime minister of New Zealand, Geoffrey Palmer, outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Israeli representative Joseph Ciechanover, and Turkish delegate Özdem Sanberk at the UN Headquarters in New York.

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In a statement to the press, Ban said the panel was “not designed to determine individual criminal responsibility, but to examine and identify the facts, circumstances and the context of the incident, as well as to recommend ways of avoiding future incidents”.

On Tuesday evening the four panel members are set to hold their first work meeting. Ban stressed that as part of their task, they should “seek the fullest cooperation of the national authorities”.

On Monday Ban denied having made any agreement with Israel stipulating that the panel would refrain from questioning military commanders.

Israel responded firmly to the secretary-general’s denial, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterating that “Israel would not participate in any panel which wants to question IDF soldiers.”

See Related: GAZA FLOTILLA CONFRONTATION ARCHIVE

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