The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding Israel’s decision to establish an independent public commission which will be mandated to examine events related to the Gaza flotilla incident:
“We welcome the Israeli Government’s decision to set up an independent public commission which will investigate what exactly occurred on board the flotilla headed for Gaza a few weeks ago.
“Canada fully supports an impartial, credible, and transparent investigation into the tragic incident.
“Canada joins others in calling on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to return quickly to negotiations toward a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.
“Canada fully understands and sympathizes with Israel’s legitimate security concerns in the face of terrorism against its people.
“While we fully support the importance of delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, we also fully support Israel’s right to inspect ships to ensure military material and armaments do not reach the hands of Hamas terrorists.
“Retired Canadian Forces Brigadier General Ken Watkin will be a part of the panel leading the investigation.
“Given his career in the Canadian Forces, and his service as Judge Advocate General, Brigadier General Ken Watkin is well suited to participate in this commission.
“We expect that the findings of the investigation, upon completion, will be presented to the international community.
“States and international bodies should not rush to judgment before all the facts are known.”