Flotilla Raid Deemed Legal
In a result sure to spark intense debate, Israel’s attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last May has been declared by a government commission to be a legal use of force for self-defense. Israeli commandos killed nine activists attempting to break the blockade on the impoverished Gaza Strip. –JCL
Israel acted within international law and its soldiers opened fire in self-defence during a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla of aid ships last May that prompted worldwide protests, a government-appointed commission concluded today.
The 280-page report of the Turkel Commission broadly endorsed the Israeli military and government versions of events on 31 May. Witnesses on board the lead ship, the Mavi Marmara, on which nine Turkish activists were killed, vigorously contested the Israeli accounts.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey whose relations with Israel reached breaking point after the raid, today rejected the conclusions of the commission, saying it had “no value or credibility”.