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17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Israeli report criticizes Netanyahu government over flotilla raid

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ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ADDRESSES THE WEEKLY CABINET MEETING AT HIS JERUSALEM OFFICE ON MAY 7, 2012. (PHOTO: EPA)
13 June 2012, Wednesday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision making was badly flawed as he oversaw a deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound ship two years ago, according to a government report released on Wednesday.

“Substantive and significant deficiencies were discovered in the decision-making process … that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led and oversaw,” State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss wrote in the 153-page report.

“The prime minister’s decision-making process took place without orderly, coordinated and documented team work, even though the senior political, military and intelligence ranks were aware that the Turkish flotilla was different from other flotillas,” it said. Netanyahu, the report continued, “did not internalize that the forcible stopping of the flotilla was liable to spark a violent confrontation on the decks of the Mavi Marmara.”

Netanyahu has argued that Israel behaved responsibly in its handling of the affair and praised the performance of his troops. “Israeli citizens enjoy a level of security they did not have for many years,” Netanyahu said in response to the report, calling that “a direct result of responsible administration and resolute policy.”

Israeli daily Haaretz reported that in response to the comptroller’s report, Netanyahu’s office said the Israeli prime minister had received messages from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan which implied that the latter hinted he would stop the flotilla, though he failed to do so. “The prime minister acted intensively through diplomatic channels, primarily with Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan, in order to stop the flotilla,” Netanyahu’s office reportedly said. “Efforts led to a high feasibility that the flotilla would be stopped.”

The office’s statement added that “despite the impression he conveyed,” Erdoğan did not stop the flotilla in the end and that Netanyahu “was made aware of that fact with only a week’s notice before the flotilla set sail.”

Relations between Israel and Turkey were seriously damaged after the May 31, 2010 Israeli military raid of the Mavi Marmara, which was carrying humanitarian aid. The raid led to the death of nine activists on board the ship -- eight Turks and one Turkish American.

Ankara wants an official apology from Israel for the raid and calls for an end to the Gaza blockade, but both demands have been rejected by the Israeli government. With tensions increased, Turkey has expelled the Israeli ambassador and suspended all military agreements it had with the country.

Turkish diplomats, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Today’s Zaman that foreign ministry has not made any assessment of the report yet.

 
 
COMMENTS
Thessalonian, Gaza blockade is not legitimate and it is disputed by UNHCR, International Red Cross, and various other institutions and lawyers, which I can further quote. The conclusion of the Palmer report on the legality of the blockade is also disputed by these organisations. You cannot just puni...
Baris
Baris, you cannot say "regardless" as if this is true, it constitutes a pivotal point in understanding the motivation and psychology of IHH's "freedom flotilla members" aboard the Mavi Marmara. Their provocative, threatening and insubordinate action(s) towards Israel's IDF directives and their subse...
Thessalonian
Thessalonian, regardless of Bülent Yıldırım funding Al Qaeda or not, fact remains that the IDF boarded the ship far out at see and executed innocent people. Were any of the dead financing the Al-Qaeda? Let's for argument's sake say they were, did they have to be executed in that manner? See my reply...
Baris
BREAKING NEWS! "IHH's CEO Bülent Yıldırım under investigation for funding al-Qaeda." Does Turkey still insist on apologies for the killing of provocators and terrorists by Israel's IDF? The cat is finally out of the bag while cheers of joy and redemption are echoing inside and outside Israel's Kness...
Thessalonian
@Yavuz: What was the first Israel reports name again and what were the results....? Now under pressure new reports appear.
zynell
@Yuri: even if hundreds ships were boarded - boarding ships on open water is piracy...so the MAvi Marmara people acted in self defense. and by the way it shows that the spin doctoring from Israel didnt help...Where are the weapon? Dont answer that chairs and some bars are WMD!!!PRICE TAG - ISRAEL wi...
zynell
PRICE TAG
zynell
Marmara was a clear act of provocation of Erdogan's islamic government with terrorists attacking with knives israeli soldiers in legal duty as UN Palmer report establishes.
theo
Stop the stupid conspiracy. There were 7 ships in the flotilla. Same soldiers boarded 6 another ships without any violence from the crew and didn't answer with violence as well.
Yuri
This was dreadful planning by Israel. They sent armed elite commandos who are trained to kill to stop an aid ship in international waters and in the middle of the night. This is not an arms ship to sent commandos; there were ordinary people on board, even holocaust survivors,on an aid mission. Israe...
Metin
Of course Netanyahu is ultimately responcible for the mistakes. The Palmer report (which was written by both Turks and Israeliis) is very clear about 1) It was illegal to try to breach the blockade and Israel had the right to board and stop the ship but also 2) Israel used too much violence doing so...
Two errors
@ Yavuz fully agree with you!
Geo
@Mario, the fact that Erdogan didn't stop the MM doesn't mean IDF had to attack the ship out at sea and summarily execute civilians on board. See my reply to Musa which gives a link to a report by the UNHCR investigating the legality of the incident. Read the paragraphs I've pointed out and see for ...
Baris
@musa, when was the legality of the blockade discussed in the UN and what was the outcome? Is there a UN resolution which finds it legal? As for the Palmer report, the task of that report was not, in fact, to judge the legality of the blockade, but to investigate the events specific to the MM incide...
Baris
The flottila should not have been sent and the Isrealis should not have boarded the vessel in international waters and dealt with it in a more proffessional manner avoiding casualties . Either way between the two of them they have created more problems than solving them.
Ahmed
The biggest criminal here is Erdogan, who was fully responsible for the provocation as he could have stopped it. 6 flotillas in all and 5 of them went through peacefully, but the violent thugs who fairly ended up dead, were found on the Mavii and got what they deserved. The outcome would have been s...
Mario
The decision to board Mavi Marmara in international waters was wrong, very very wrong. The killings on board were atrocities. Justice should prevail.
AliA
And did Erdogan and Turkey do any soul searching or is supporting running a legal blockade with thugs okay ? Humanitarian aid could have been offloaded and transported under UN auspices, but helping palestinians is not what this was about
ron
Agree with [Baris]: Israel has no legal leg to stand on. Israelis themselves admit the Turkish flagged ship was clearly in International waters: no dispute. If Israel had waited for the ship to cross the 12 mile territorial line, there would no issue: Israel would have the absolute right to use forc...
Avery
@baris. first, the legality of the blockade was discussed in the UN and in the report after the raid was found legal. second, if you think Israel is blocking Gaza for nothing but revenge or punishment then you must answer 2 questions: 1 - why do the Egyptians closed to border and block Gaza and 2 - ...
musa
Israel is a democratic country where another state institution can and does criticize the Prime Minister. In Turkey, no state institution would dare criticize Prime Minister Erdogan, and even the press is largely fearful of asking hard questions about the AKP government's involvement in the whole Ma...
Yavuz
Netanyahu and Barak should have anticipated the IHH Muslim fanatics will be violent, but they are not responsible for the Turks' behavior.
Joe
@musa, when armed soldiers board a ship far out at see and with no warning, it is in fact in a position of attack, and not self-defence. There was no reason for the deaths. It was a blunder. You speak of the legality of the Gaza arms blockade. First, no arms were being delivered to Gaza. Second, Isr...
Baris
bring him to court.
zynell
price tag for israels failure to deal with turks
price tag
it's only criticizing the preparations, not the need to use force for self defense or the legality of the Gaza arms blockade.
musa
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