Arab Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi, who participated in the 2010 Gaza-bound flotilla, rejected Thursday the findings of the Palmer Report - which ruled that Israel's Gaza blockade is legal and legitimate.
"Those who sent the army to stop the flotilla should be persecuted and brought before international tribunals," Zoabi said. "Breaching the blockade is the moral, political and humane obligation of anyone who believes people must not remain silent over the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people."
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"The blockade is illegal and will continue to be illegal," the Balad MK said, adding that if she could travel back in time, she would participate in the flotilla again.
The report, which was slated to be released on Friday but was leaked to the press Thursday evening, asserts that the IDF used excessive force during the raid on the Mavi Maramara, but also rules that Israeli soldiers had to defend themselves in the face of violent attacks once onboard the ship.
'Gaza blockade illegal' - MK Zoabi
The UN panel of inquiry also criticized the organizers of the flotilla, accusing them of acting "recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade. “There exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objectives of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH," the report says.
"The report confirmed my version of the story regarding excessive use of force – it was the IDF's choice," the Balad Knesset member said.
"They could have opted not to kill the activists, but the army used force not in self defense, but as means of teaching those who try to undermine the Israeli government's policy a lesson," she said.
Addressing the claims made against the IHH, Zoabi said: "They mention the IHH in the report, but we must not forget that the flotilla initiative came from representatives from more than 35 states around the world."
"This (flotilla) is not only the organization's worldview, but rather, reflects the global consensus and the desire to identify with the Palestinians' suffering; No report can change that," she said.
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