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Monday 18 December 2017

Ireland seeking UN-led inquiry into deaths

Sarah Collins in Luxembourg

Ireland is continuing to push for a UN-led inquiry into the fatal Israeli raid on a Gaza aid flotilla last month in which nine people died.

The disclosure came despite Tel Aviv's announcement yesterday it would conduct its own investigation, helped by former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble.

Mr Trimble is to sit as one of two international observers on the panel, headed up by retired Israeli Supreme Court judge Jacob Turkel, but will not be able to vote on the final report.

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin, meeting his EU counterparts in Luxembourg yesterday, said Europe should be "very careful" not to conduct an inquiry that could "indirectly undermine the UN".

"It's important such an inquiry has global acceptance," he said after the meeting. "This happened in international waters. The EU needs to be very careful to make sure it supports the primacy of the UN."

Turkey has condemned the probe as "one-sided", but Washington expressed confidence that Israel would conduct a fair investigation.

Europe's 27 foreign ministers yesterday failed to agree a stance on who should lead the inquiry but did say in a statement that it should be "immediate, full and impartial" and "should include credible international participation".

The UN last week proposed that New Zealand's former premier Geoffrey Palmer -- along with representatives from Turkey, Israel and the US -- steer an international probe.

Irish Independent

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