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Israel's Netanyahu balks at UN investigation of Gaza flotilla raid

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuffed a proposal from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to have an international panel investigate last week's deadly Gaza flotilla raid.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday. Netanyahu balked at any suggestion that the UN be involved in an investigation of the Gaza flotilla raid.

Jim Hollander/Reuters

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu balked Sunday at a proposal by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to set up a panel to investigate Israel's deadly Gaza flotilla raid last week, potentially prolonging a rift between the Jewish state and the international community.

Mr. Ban proposed a panel headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Jeffrey Palmer, along with Israeli and Turkish representatives, according to Israeli media reports. But Mr. Netanyahu expressed concern about a rush to judgment, according to one Israeli official.

"Nothing was finalized, and nothing was decided,'' said the official. The prime minister said "that all decisions have to be taken calmly, and not under the pressure of events."

IN PICTURES: The Gaza flotilla and the aftermath of the Israeli naval raid

Who will conduct the investigation?

The US and other countries have pressed for an impartial investigation of the incident. And some in Israel – including the foreign ministry, according to local reports – believe that an investigation with international involvement would both help ease the uproar and confirm their narrative that the pro-Palestinian activists in last week's Gaza flotilla had to be repelled with lethal force.

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