Sources: Barak to Okay Panel for Gaza Flotilla Probe

Defense Ministry officials tell Army Radio that Ehud Barak will agree to creation of investigatory committee; State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to open probe of decision-making process that led to raid.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak will agree to the formation of an investigatory committee to look into the events surrounding the Israel Defense Forces' interception of the Gaza-bound "Freedom Flotilla" earlier this week, Army Radio reported on Saturday.

Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed when Israeli naval commandos took control of the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara ship, one of six vessels intercepted on Monday morning.

Defense Ministry officials told Army Radio that Barak would agree to the creation of the committee on the condition that IDF officers and soldiers would not be investigated.

The officials said Barak would also agree to the participation of an international observer on the committee, if necessary.

Also, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is likely to open an investigation into Israel's decision-making process that led to the raid on the flotilla. Lindenstrauss is expected to take part in a meeting of the Knesset's State Control Committee this week

"I don't want the soldiers who were involved to have to appear before an international inquiry commission," said MK Nir Hasson (Kadima), head of the State Control Committee. "The start of an inquiry by the State Comptroller will demonstrate that Israel has begun a serious internal investigation into what happened, which will lessen the motivation for an external probe."