French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner proposed that the European Union (EU) could step in and check the cargo on ships bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip in an attempt to lower tensions following an Israeli raid on aid ships last week. "The European Union must participate politically and concretely more than it already does — and it does a lot already — in the path towards peace," the BBC quoted Mr. Kouchner as saying after a meeting with his British counterpart William Hague late Sunday in Paris. "We could check the cargo of ships heading to Gaza," he said.

"We can do it, we want to do it." He added that the EU could also control the Rafah entry point from Egypt into the territory controlled by Hamas "in a very strict manner". Mr. Hague stopped short of calling for an international inquiry into the May 31 raid, in which nine activists were killed, but called for an "international presence". The deaths sparked international protests. "We think it is very important that there is a credible and transparent investigation," Mr. Hague said, adding there should be an "international presence at minimum" in the investigation.

However, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, said on Sunday his country rejected an international probe. Israel has the "ability and the right to investigate itself, not be investigated by any international board," Mr. Oren told Fox News.

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