Israel Presses UN to Stall Debate on 'Biased' Gaza Flotilla Report

Government furious as UN Human Rights Commission preempts results of wider UN probe and separate Israeli probe into fatal raid on aid convoy in May.

Israel is pressing the United Nations to postpone debate on its report on the Gaza flotilla raid until it finishes its own internal inquiry into the incident, the Israeli envoy to the UN in Geneva said on Friday.

The UN Human Rights Commission released a report on Wednesday which said that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine activists, earlier this year.

Aharon Leshno Yaar, AP

In May, Israel created its own state-appointed inquiry into the flotilla raid headed by retired Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel.

Set up in hope of stemming international fury at Israeli actions during the raid, the Turkel Commission is also providing material for a separate inquest at the United Nations.

In an interview with Army Radio this week, Turkel was asked if the inquest was nearing completion.

"Yes, certainly. We have by now gathered most of the testimony," Turkel said. "If there will be more witnesses testifying, they will be witnesses of lesser importance, and not a large number of them remain."

Israeli envoy to the UN in Geneva, Aharon Leshno Yaar, said on Friday that the outcome of the UN Human rights Commission report had been pre-determined.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the UN report on Wednesday, calling it "biased and distorted." He added that the group responsible for the report was "obsessed with targeting Israel."

The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded to the report late Wednesday by saying the Human Rights Commission had a biased, politicized and extremist approach. They have since said that will "study" the report.