Israel Defends Flotilla Raid, Rejects International Investigation

Israel has defended its raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last week and rejected a United Nations proposal for an international investigation into the incident that has received widespread condemnation.

The Israeli government justified the deadly raid, saying five passengers of the aid ship Mavi Marmara were “active terror operatives” who are sympathetic to al-Qaeda and Hamas. Israel said an independent international investigation, as proposed by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, is not necessary as the government is capable of carrying out an impartial inquiry into the incident, which led to the death of nine Turks.

“Israel is a democratic nation. Israel has the ability and the right to investigate itself, not to be investigated by any international board,” Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren said.

However, Turkey said it would push for an international investigation, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying that allowing Israel to conduct an internal inquiry might lead to cover up. “We want to know the facts. If Israel rejects this, it means it is also another proof of their guilt. They are not self-confident to face the facts,” Davutoglu said.