Erdogan: Report has no value
Photo: AFP
Netanyahu: We support soldiers
Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
MK Zoabi: Turkel was propaganda

Erdogan dismisses Turkel report

Netanyahu, of opposite opinion, says 'every time Israel must defend itself it is accused of war crimes'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan MK slammed the results of the Turkel committee probe into the events of the May 31 IDF flotilla raid, saying it had "no value or credibility", while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his content with the results.


Erdogan told reporters in Ankara Sunday that he was "appalled and dismayed" at the results of the Israeli inquiry into the raid.


But Netanyahu was of the opposite opinion. "The truth is simple. The IDF soldiers protected themselves and the state. It is not only their right but also their duty and the State of Israel supports them," he said.


"Every time Israel must defend itself it is accused of committing war crimes… IDF soldiers boarded the Marmara with bravery and restraint. The aim was to enforce the naval blockade on Gaza."


Netanyahu said the entire world had seen Israel's soldiers attacked, and called the Turkel committee "independent and unbiased".


The report said soldiers were attacked by activists upon landing on the 600-passenger Mavi Marmara and used lethal force because their lives were in danger.


MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) was also critical of the committee, saying its members had refrained from summoning her to testify purposefully.


"The committee did not summon the only witness who saw what happened on board for fear that the harmony of the report would be damaged," Zoabi said Sunday.


Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the committee's conclusions "a desperate attempt at justifying the occupation and improving Israel's image by hiding crimes".


"Steps must be taken in order to try the accomplices of this crime in international court," he added.


MK Zoabi accused the Turkel committee of trying to whitewash the deaths of the nine Turkish activists who were killed during the raid, and said the committee had been used as "an open stage for propaganda" as it allowed military and state officials to speak uninterrupted and without objection.


"This is an Israeli committee with very limited authority, which has totally ignored the sensitive issue that raised the need for an investigation, and that is the deaths of nine activists on board," she said.


"This report cannot clean up Israel's image as a serial violator of international law in the global arena," Zoabi added. "The Turkel report was written in order to undermine demands by Turkey and the UN for an international probe… the only way in which facts can be presented faithfully and honestly."


Reuters contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 01.23.11, 17:01
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