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Haaretz: Netanyahu Defends Mavi Marmara Massacre during Testimony

Haaretz: Netanyahu Defends Mavi Marmara Massacre during Testimony
folder_openPalestine access_time9 years ago
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According to "Israeli" media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the so called (former justice Jacob) Turkel committee Monday that the naval blockade on Gaza was in place to prevent arms shipments from arriving to Hamas. No weapons were found on the Mavi Marmara, yet the "Israeli" raiders killed, in international waters, nine Turkish activists in cold blood and injured several others.

"I am certain that your investigation will find that the State of "Israel" and the IDF acted in accordance with international law and that IDF fighters aboard the Marmara displayed remarkable courage while carrying out their duty and protecting themselves from a real threat to their lives," Benjamin Netanyahu told the panel.

The panel investigating the raid on a the Turkish Gaza flotilla was recently granted greater authority after Turkel told the government the committee could not do its job without expanded investigative powers. The committee was granted the power to subpoena witnesses, soldiers, and documents, warn those who testify before it that the panel' s findings could harm them, and hire outside experts in relevant fields, Haaretz said.

Until the change in the committee's mandate, the panel was only supposed to determine whether "Israel's" efforts to stop the flotilla from reaching Gaza accorded with international law, and whether the soldiers' use of force was proportionate.

The Turkel Commission was established in the wake of intense international pressure to investigate the raid, and "Israeli" rejection to cooperate with any international probe committee. BBC said in an article posted Monday that the "commission of inquiry was only set-up after international pressure and some observers say it will not really get to the causes of why the operation went so badly wrong." "Observers say that subsequent international inquiries may be more analytical and critical of Israeli government policy in Gaza," BBC added.

"Israeli" Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi are also to testify this week.

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