Turkel wants wider scope for flotilla probe

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The judge who is leading an Israeli inquiry into its interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla has requested a wider scope for the investigation.

Jacob Turkel, a retired Israeli Supreme Court justice, has threatened to resign unless his independent committee is given the right to conduct a full judicial inquiry, according to Israeli reports Tuesday. He also has requested to add two members to the committee.

Turkel is citing legal grounds to support the wider powers, which would include the right to subpoena any witnesses or evidence needed by the panel, to look into the incident that left nine passengers dead, Haaretz reported.

The committee met Monday for the first time.

Turkel’s request came following a petition filed with Israel’s Supreme Court by the leftist Gush Shalom organization to disband the committee.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly decided Tuesday that he will discuss the possibility of expanding the committee’s scope; the committee will not meet for the next two weeks while the matter is examined.  
 

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