No surprise in Israeli report on Gaza flotilla raid

Israel's naval siege of the Gaza Strip and its deadly raid on aid ships are "legal", an Israeli probe concluded, in a widely expected outcome.

No surprise in Israeli report on Gaza flotilla raid

Israel's naval siege of the Gaza Strip and its deadly raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for the coastal enclave last year "conform with international law", an Israeli probe concluded on Sunday, in a widely expected outcome.

In May 2010, Israeli troops killed nine Turkish activists on the aid ship in international waters, which soured relations between Ankara and Israel and earned the Jewish state widespread international condemnation once again.

Israel set up its own commission of inquiry into the raid, headed by former judge Yaakov Turkel.

"The naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip... was legal pursuant to the rules of international law," the six-member Turkel commission said in its report released Sunday.

"The actions carried out by Israel on May 31, 2010, to enforce the naval blockade had the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries," the report said.

"Nonetheless... the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law."

In September, three international experts appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council to investigate the attack said, "Israel wilfully killed and tortured activists on board the Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May and there is clear evidence to support prosecutions."

The commission also rejected arguments by aid groups that the maritime blockade constituted illegal punishment of the territory's civilians.

"The imposition and enforcement of the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip does not constitute 'collective punishment' of the population of the Gaza Strip," it ruled.

Sunday's report is the first of two by the panel. The second, which deals with the decisions of officials, it to be released later in the year.

Turkey demands Israel apologise over the raid, pay compensation for the victims and lift the blockade of Gaza for the recovery of bilateral ties.


Agencies

Last Mod: 23 Ocak 2011, 16:26
Add Comment