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Israeli flotilla probe summons Turkish ship captain

09-14-2010 09:04 BJT

JERUSALEM, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli committee probing a deadly raid aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship in May asked the Turkish Embassy in Israel on Sunday to invite the ship's captain to provide testimony.

Israeli naval commandos on May 31 boarded the deck of the Mavi Marmara, part of a six-vessel international flotilla that aimed to break the maritime blockade imposed by Israel on the Palestinian enclave. Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed and scores of passengers, as well as several soldiers, were wounded in the ensuing melee between troops and passengers.

The Turkel Committee said in a letter sent to the Turkish Embassy that it "wishes to invite Tural Mahmut, who served as the captain of the Mavi Marmara during the incident which the committee is examining, in order to hear his testimony regarding the incident."

An Israeli Army radio report in June said Mamut had told Israeli investigators that, prior to the raid, he and some of his crew had tried to prevent some passengers on board from confronting with troops.

If Mahmut testifies, he will be the first non-Israeli to appear before the committee. Until now, the committee has collected the testimonies of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and several top army officials.

Uzi Arad, who chairs Israel's National Security Council, gave closed-door testimony on Monday, and Israeli intelligence agency Mossad chief Meir Dagan is expected to testify on Tuesday.

The committee on Monday evening sent a letter to Dagan warning disciplinary action if the Mossad fails to provide documents relating to the investigation, the local Walla news site reported.

"The committee will have to weigh its responses," the letter said.

Editor:Li yang |Source: Xinhua

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