Mavi Marmara panel wants civilian supervision for IDF probes

May 07, 2012, Monday/ 17:25:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A commission formed to investigate Israel’s actions in intercepting a flotilla to Gaza in 2010 says civilian authorities should review Israel Defense Forces (IDF) probes, arguing that the military should not be the sole authority to examine its own conduct when it is accused of human rights violations.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Turkel Commission is likely to recommend significantly augmenting civilian review of IDF probes. The Turkel Commission, which is led by retired Israeli Supreme Court judge Jacob Turkel, was formed to investigate Israel’s actions in intercepting the flotilla to Gaza in May 2010.

Haaretz states that the second part of the Turkel report is to be submitted to the prime minister and made public in the coming weeks.

The first part of the Turkel Commission’s report, submitted on Jan. 23, 2011, stated that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and the IDF operation on May 31, 2010 was fully in accordance with international law, but criticized the IDF’s preparation in advance of the arrival of the flotilla as well as the operation itself. On May 31, 2010, the IDF attacked an international flotilla on its way to Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of eight Turks and one Turkish American aboard the Turkish Mavi Marmara.

The main recommendation, included in the second part of the report, is that Israel’s attorney-general should more closely supervise its military advocate-general and the Shin Bet security service regarding investigations of Palestinian complaints.

The report will review how investigations are currently handled of ostensible war crimes by the IDF, the Shin Bet, the police and the Prison Service.

The report is expected to scrutinize the IDF’s investigation of the 2010 flotilla and to criticize IDF investigations in general.

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