Israeli diplomat and a Turkish diplomat were added Saturday to a UN panel to investigate the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May, dpa reported.
UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-Moon welcomed Turkey's Ozdem Sanberk and Israel's Joseph Ciechanover to the four-member panel formed earlier this week.
The incident nearly severed decades-old diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel, two allies in the difficult Middle East region. The nine people killed when Israeli forces stormed the flotilla included eight Turkish nationals and one Turkish American.
Israeli naval commandos shot dead nine pro-Palestinian international activists aboard the Mavi Marmara passenger ship, which was attempting to deliver supplies to Gaza despite an Israeli naval blockade of the enclave.
The UN panel is headed by former New Zealand prime minister
Geoffrey Palmer and outgoing President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, who will co-chair the investigation.
The panel, which is to deliver its first progress report by mid- September, is undertaking one of two UN investigations into the flotilla raid.
The UN Human Rights Council has also appointed a three-member "independent international fact-finding mission" to examine whether the raid violated international law.
Sanberk has served as ambassador to Spain, France, Britain and Germany. Ciechanover is an expert on financial and security policy and has spent working abroad in that capacity.