On May 31, Israeli navy commandos launched a deadly attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters as the aid convoy was heading toward the besieged Gaza Strip, killing 20 people.
Defying repeated international calls for a transparent and credible probe into the incident, Israel’s cabinet approved the establishment of an “independent public commission” to probe the legal aspects of the deadly operation.
What follows is Press TV’s interview with Dr. Franklin Lamb, an international lawyer, about the investigation into the attack.
Press TV: Dr. Lamb, will the one-sided investigation by Israel be regarded as a legitimate one by the international community?
Lamb: Absolutely not. Israel’s “ self ‘auto investigation’ will have no credibility whatsoever. All it will do is to provide some PR fodder for the international Zionist lobby to broadcast the findings (quote, unquote) and whitewash the murders Israel committed on the high seas. These crimes, including murder, assault and battery, destruction of property, false arrest, false imprisonment, piracy, kidnapping for just starters, committed in International waters require that the international community including the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice hold Israel accountable.
Israel announcing that it will investigate itself is like accepting the fox to judge its actions in a chicken coup.
There have been about the 72 Israeli “inquiries” into murderous misconducts by elements of the Israeli establishment since the 1983 Kahan commission into the events of the September 14-18 Sabra-Shatila.
If you remember in February 1983 [Israel] issued the so called Kahan Commission report in which it found indirect (not direct) responsibility for the massacre of Sabra and Shatila by elements of the Menachem Begin government including Ariel Sharon who was defense minister and Rafael Eitan the head of the Israel army.
This latest one will surely have no more credibility than that one did or the others did, and it is added to more than 6 dozen official inquiries regarding checkpoint murders, assassinations, willful destructions of property, home demolitions, land confiscations, assassinations of children and Christian and Muslim religious leaders, murder, that various army personnel and government officials have been guilty of including serial crimes against the occupied Palestinian people.
So no, this one will have no credibility. It remains of course what our American government going to do about it? And Europe and the International community. What will the Arabs and Muslims do? That’s a question for the Arab League, The Organization of the Islamic Conference, the General Assembly of the United Nations and private tribunals such via demonstrations, protests, visits to their elected representatives and a whole host of civil society initiatives.
But I am sorry to say that we will not get an honest inquiry and I think the white House knows that.
Press TV: It begs the question though, what it is that Israel is trying to hide with rejecting the international investigation?
Lamb: In the “investigation” that they are going to have, they start by limiting the scoop of inquiry dramatically to the point that they will consider whether or not it was legal to stop the ship. And International lawyers are debating that and can until doomsday. Israel and their well paid mouthpieces such as Alan Dershowitz are trying to hide Israeli crimes. That was murder, that was piracy, that was false arrest. It was a verifiable series of crimes they committed. So by trying to control the inquiry Israel and their US congressional agents will try to whitewash their illegal actions that the world has and continues dramatically to respond to and reject. There will be other inquiries but this one I’m afraid is doomed as a charade. But it may serve the purpose of ‘feel good’ to the Israeli public and prolong the Netanyahu government and that is why they are doing it.
Press TV: We appreciate it, Franklin Lamb from Beirut.