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Investigation of 2010 Gaza flotilla released

by on July 6, 2011

The UN committee investigating the Gaza-bound flotilla of May 2010 released its findings.  There is bad news as well as good, and, like all reports, is biased and politically motivated, even if it is fair and acceptable.  The naval blockade of Gaza by Israel, which is, in short time, about  to be challenged again by the same group, was found to be legal, although ‘excessive force was used,’ which is, I suppose, sometimes what happens when people die.  Turkey was sharply criticized for its internal investigation of last convoy, while “Israel’s Turkel commission that investigated the events was professional, independent and unbiased.”

The Turks of last year, unlike the Greeks to date this year, did not attempt to prevent the convoy from sailing; therefore, found the UN report, the Turkish investigation was “politically influenced and its work was not professional or independent.”  Turkey, perhaps because it is trying to reconcile differences with Israel, has pressured the UN  to delay the public release the report.  “The [UN] Palmer Committee also criticizes the IHH organization that organized the Gaza flotilla as well as its ties to the Turkish government, suggesting Turkey did not do enough to stop the flotilla.”

Based on testimony of the passengers, the committee concluded that Israeli naval commandos used excessive force.  “Israel claimed the soldiers acted out of self defense, thereby justifying the use of force,” which is, of course, an interesting notion to attack a group of people and claim self-defense.  The report’s final draft suggests “Israel is not asked to apologize to Turkey, but the report does recommend it expresses regret over the casualties.”  The report “doesn’t ask Israel to pay compensation, but proposes Israel transfer money to a specially-created humanitarian fund.”

In the meantime, relations between Israel and Turkey are strained. “There is no agreement and no breakthrough on the horizon.  Everything still depends on the (Turkish demand for an Israeli) apology. The report will be released soon and a compromise seems very unlikely.”

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