Flotilla raid ‘regrettable’ but legal, Israeli commission finds – CNN.com

By the CNN Wire Staff
January 23, 2011 — Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)

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Israel flotilla report
  • Commission: Israeli troops acted “in a measured manner”
  • Activists aboard vessel were “direct participants in hostilities,” it concluded
  • A survivor of the raid called the report a “whitewash” and a “farce”

Jerusalem (CNN) — Israel’s deadly raid on an aid flotilla that attempted to run the blockade of Gaza was “regrettable” but legal under international law, an independent Israeli commission reported Sunday.

The commission, led by retired judge Yaakov Turkel, found that Israeli commandos “acted professionally and in a measured manner in the face of unanticipated violence” when they seized the Gaza-bound aid ship Mavi Marmara.

Members of the Turkish relief group IHH “were direct participants in hostilities” who attacked the Israeli troops, the commission reported.

Nine people were killed when Israeli forces boarded the Mavi Marmara and its accompanying convoy in international waters in May. Two Israeli troops were wounded.

A survivor of the raid called Sunday’s report a “whitewash” and a “farce,” and an Israeli human rights group criticized its findings as well.

The controversy led Israel to loosen its embargo on impoverished Gaza, allowing more civilian goods and construction materials to flow in while still banning military equipment and weapons.

But the Turkel Commission found that the blockade “was lawful and complied with the rules of international law, in view of the security circumstances and Israel’s efforts to fulfill its humanitarian obligations.”

CNN’s Shira Medding contributed to this report.

Flotilla raid ‘regrettable’ but legal, Israeli commission finds – CNN.com.


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