UN team starts hearings in Jordan on Gaza flotilla

August 30th, 2010 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Amman, Aug 30 (DPA) A UN inquiry team started hearings Monday with Jordanian activists about the fatal May 31 Israeli attack on a Turkish ship that was part of a flotilla trying to break an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
“The panel, which is due to stay in Jordan until Friday, met several people over the past hours,” Badi Rafayaa, a prominent trade unionist, told DPA.

Rafayaa was one of 33 Jordanian activists aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla when Israeli forces raided the Mavi Marmara ferry, killing nine Turkish citizens, and wounding several others.

Rafayaa said he was scheduled to testify Tuesday afternoon.

Rafayaa said that the UN panel will also meet in Amman with two Arab activists from Israel - Hanin Zoabi from the National Democratic Assembly and Mohammad Zeidan, director general of the Arab Association of Human Rights - who were aboard the Turkish vessel when the Israeli attack occurred.

The fact-finding mission is chaired by Karl Hudson-Phillips, former judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague.

The team arrived in Amman Sunday night after eight days of hearings in Turkey. The panel is due to report back to the UN Human Rights Council during its next session, between Sep 13 and Oct 11.

Israel has refused cooperation with the team, claiming it lacked neutrality.

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