Thursday, January 20, 2011
'Turkel C'tee likely to find Israel innocent of war crimes'
Source who has been working closely with Gaza flotilla commission says conclusions will show Israel acted in accordance with int'l law.
A source who has been working closely with the Turkel Committee said Thursday that its members were likely to find Israel innocent of war crimes when they release a report of its conclusions, Army Radio reported.
He said that the committee set up to investigate the events of the May 2010 raid of the Gaza flotilla will likely conclude that the way in which the IDF took control of the Mavi Marmara aid ship was in accordance with the rules of international law.
According to the source, the conclusions, which will be released next Monday, were adopted by all members of the committee and two foreign observers, who are experts in dealing with terrorism.
The report will focus on whether the blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza was legal and complied with international law.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi took responsibility for the botched flotilla raid in October when he testified before then Turkel Committee.
Ashkenazi told the committee that he was responsible for all IDF operations and that as the representative of the entire military there was no reason to summon additional officers or soldiers to testify before the committee.
Ashkenazi praised the commandos from the Navy’s Flotilla 13 – known as the Shayetet – who boarded the ship and, according to the IDF, were lynched by a group of mercenaries. He said that the second soldier who fast-roped onto the boat from a helicopter was immediately shot.