Israeli inquiry to 'blame navy for deadly raid on Gaza aid ship'

Israel's military failed to prepare adequately for what turned into a deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, according to findings of a military inquiry quoted by the Israeli media.

Israeli inquiry to 'blame navy for deadly raid on Gaza aid ship'

 

Israel's military failed to prepare adequately for what turned into a deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, according to findings of a military inquiry quoted by the Israeli media on Monday.

The official report was set to be released later in the day by a military commission led by Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli general.

Israeli forces raided a six-ship flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza on May 31.

Nine people were killed in the raid. The flotilla, which included three cargo ships and three passenger ships, was trying to draw attention to Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. The boats were carrying items such as electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.

It is not expected Eiland to issue personal recommendations against senior officers. But he will criticise the IDF, the Israeli newspapers said.

A civilian panel is conducting a separate investigation into the deadly raid that triggered an international outcry and severely strained Israel's relations with its once-close Muslim ally Turkey.

Witnesses and various other people who have spoken to Eiland say that his report will be very critical of the army's conduct in the affair. Eiland is also reportedly critical of the government's conduct, but the report will not cover politicians, Haaretz said.

Quoting from what it said were portions of the military commission's report, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said the findings pointed to "flawed preparation (in intelligence) prior to the arrival" of the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara.

The "battle guidelines" issued to commandos who raided the vessel were flawed as was the intelligence.

“Navy's responsibility”

The report is also expected to criticize Navy commanders for the bloody raid, Ynet said.
Former top officers both in the Navy and Military Intelligence believe the responsibility lies solely on the Navy, according to Ynet.

Ynet quoted from a retired brigadier-general and former Navy senior official as saying that "That's not how you seize a ship". "Not under any circumstance do you drop soldiers on to a crowded deck," he was quoted as saying.

Some of the commandos, the military said at the time, were armed with paintball guns -- but also carried pistols -- in anticipation of only light resistance.

Yedioth Ahronoth and other Israeli media reported that the Eiland commission's report would not call for any military personnel to resign.

Eiland's report is the first to be published in the affair.

The separate civilian panel is led by a former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel and includes two international observers.

Its narrow mandate does not include an examination of the political decision-making process behind the launching of the raid, although Turkel said it would call for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to testify.

Instead, it focuses on whether the naval blockade and the flotilla's interception conformed with international law.

Turkey said the attack was a bloodshed Israeli "state terrorism", withdrew its ambassador and cancelled joint military exercises.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2010, 13:19
YORUM EKLE