JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s opposition leader criticized the Netanyahu government for agreeing to cooperate with a United Nations probe of the Turkish flotilla incident.
Tzipi Livni of the Kadima Party said Israel’s participation in the international inquiry will expose the Israel Defense Forces and its soldiers.
"On the day of the flotilla, even before the international condemnations, I publicly called on the defense minister [Ehud Barak] to set up a credible and serious Israeli inquiry, in order to relieve the global pressure on the soldiers of the IDF," Livni told the Israeli daily Haaretz on Tuesday. "[Instead] the government hesitated, stuttered, searched, prevaricated, obstructed, obfuscated and altered [its inquiry], bringing in outside observers to placate world opinion.
"Israel has painted itself into a corner through inactivity, hesitation and its inability from the outset to gather global support for the right committee of inquiry, which should be wholly Israeli," Livni said.
Israel’s decision to participate in the investigation was made in large part to improve its relations with Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said Tuesday, the day after Israel agreed to cooperate with the international probe.
Nine Turkish citizens, including one Turkish-American dual citizen, were killed during violence on the deck of the ship the Marmara when Israeli forces intercepted it on May 31.