A Turkish government inquiry into the IDF raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed eight Turks and a Turkish-American says Israeli soldiers shot five victims from close range.
The report released Friday says two of the victims were killed even before soldiers boarded the Turkish ship in May. The report also says Israel blatantly violated international laws.
Israeli commandos raided the flotilla as it sought to break Israel's Gaza blockade. Israel says the commandos were defending themselves.
Notably, the Turkish findings are at odds with the conclusions of an earlier Israeli inquiry into the incident. Last month, the Turkel Committee cleared the IDF and Israeli government of any wrongdoing, which sparked Turkish protests.
The nearly 300-page Turkel report, which was also endorsed by foreign observers, said the actions of the soldiers involved in the raid "were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law" and that they opened fire in self-defense.
Erdogan 'appalled and dismayed'
The commission cleared the soldiers of any use of unnecessary violence, stating: "It is possible to determine that the IDF soldiers acted professionally and with great presence of mind in light of the extreme violence which they hadn't expected."
Navy commandoes involved in the raid described a chaotic scene on board the Turkish vessel and recounted a near-lynch experience. The first soldier on the scene described it as a battlefield; while still in the air, he saw that the activists awaiting bellow were wearing gas masks and life jackets and were armed with iron clubs, rods and axes, he said.
Later, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the conclusions of the Turkel committee probe, saying it had "no value or credibility." Erdogan told reporters in Ankara that he was "appalled and dismayed" at the results of the Israeli inquiry.
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