Alerts and Reports 

The government already admits: the Tirkel Committee was not given the necessary authority

On the eve of the hearing of Gush Shalom's petition, PM Netanyahu accepted the request of Judge Ya'akov Tirkel to broaden the powers of the Committee headed by Tirkel, charged with probing the Gaza Flotilla raid.

The Supreme Court hearing is delayed for ten days, and until July 11 the activities of the Tirkel Committee will be suspended

Uri Avnery: Even before our petition could come before the Supreme Court, the government accepted our primary contention – the Tirkel Committee was not given the necessary authority to conduct a thorough and independent investigation

June 29, 2010 -- This evening, Osnat Mendel of the Supreme Court department of the State Prosecution called Adv. Gaby Laski, representing the Gush Shalom movement, and told that the state asked the Supreme Court to delay for ten days the hearing in Gush Shalom's appeal to dismantle the Tirkel Committee, a hearing which was due to take place tomorrow morning at the Supreme Court.

In its request to delay the hearing the State disclosed that Judge Tirkel asked the political echelon to reconsider the authority given to the Committee headed by himself. In response to this request and due to other non-specified considerations, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided at noon today to conduct such a reconsideration in the coming days. Judge Tirkel undertook to the Supreme Court that the Committee's activities will be suspended until July 11, and that it will conduct no activity until the change in its authority is determined.

"It seems that already before our appeal got to any hearing before the court, the State representatives in practice admit Gush Shalom's main contention - that the Tirkel Committee, with the very narrow authority and mandate given it by the government, was not able to conduct a serious investigation into the circumstances which led to the killing of nine passengers on the Gaza Flotilla, and subsequently to a severe damage of Israel's international position. I am glad to see that the Prime Minister apparently has also understood this, even if belatedly" says former Knesset Member Uri Avnery, one of those who signed the appeal.

"Nevertheless, we don't withdraw our demand to form a Judicial Commission of Inquiry, independent and fully empowered, which is the instrument created by Israeli law exactly for sensitive investigations of this kind. A thorough and independent investigation is needed, first of all, not for the Americans, not for the Turks, and not for the U.N. but for ourselves, for the sake of Israel's future in order to help prevent such grave fiascos from happening again.

Contact: Att. Gabi Lasky 054-4418988, Adam Keller 054-2340749

The State's request to postpone the hearing as sent to the Supreme Court (Hebrew)