| GEO World|
| Israel to hold internal probes into Gaza flotilla raid|
| Updated at: 0037 PST, Wednesday, June 09, 2010|
JERUSALEM: Israel on Tuesday outlined plans to hold its own limited probes into its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, as the United States backed calls for an international inquiry into the operation.
The probes will look exclusively into the legality of Israel's naval blockade of Gaza and the May 31 raid on an aid flotilla that sought to break it, minister without portfolio Benny Begin told public radio on Tuesday.
But the United States, Israel's closed ally, on Tuesday said it backed an international probe into the widely condemned raid, echoing similar remarks by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
"We understand that the international participation in investigating these matters will be important to the credibility everybody wants to see," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said.
"We recognize that international participation... would be an essential element to putting this tragedy behind us and then hopefully creating some additional trust."
"We're in conversation with (the) Israelis and others about how to best accomplish this," Crowley added.
Ban's spokesman Farhan Haq said earlier that the UN chief's view is that "credible international involvement is crucial to a prompt, credible, impartial and transparent investigation."
Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would raise at the United Nations the question of who should investigate the Israeli raid, which he denounced as "a crude violation" of international law.