Israel set to accept 'quid pro quo' Gaza deal: report

9th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Israel is set to accept a plan under which it would ease its Gaza blockade in return for the international community agreeing a limited probe into a deadly flotilla raid, it was reported Wednesday.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Britain last week circulated a document outlining proposals to ease the blockade. It quoted an unnamed Western source close to the talks with Israel saying: "A quid pro quo deal is in the offing".

Israel has outlined plans to hold probes into the legality of its naval blockade of Gaza and the raid last week on an aid flotilla which was bidding to break it which killed nine people.

It is reportedly considering setting up an investigative team made up of Israeli jurists and former diplomats as well as two foreign observers.

This would fall short of the independent, international investigation several world leaders have called for.

On the blockade, the Daily Telegraph said Israel has been asked to ease access into Gaza at crossings and allow the UN to convey material needed to rebuild 60,000 homes destroyed or damaged in the 2008-09 Gaza war.

"Israel could be flexible about items reaching the civilian population," said an unnamed Israeli official quoted by the paper.

Officials deny there is a link between their willingness to cooperate and matters related to the inquiry, the paper said.

The United States said Tuesday it backed international participation in a probe into the highly controversial flotilla raid, echoing similar remarks by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Meanwhile, 21 Asian and Middle Eastern states expressed "grave concern and condemnation" over the raid at a security summit in Istanbul.

Turkey, whose citizens died on the flotilla, has said normalisation of ties with Israel would be "out of the question" if it failed to agree to an international probe.

© 2010 AFP

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