Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Turkey Readies Indictments of Israelis Over Gaza Flotilla

Turkey continues pressing ahead with a potential indictment of top Israeli military leaders over the Gaza flotilla that had nothing to do with humanitarian aid and everything to do with seeking a violent confrontation with Israel.

Turkish newspapers are noting that Ankara's prosecutor is preparing a 144-page document that accuses top Israeli officers, including former army chief Gabi Ashkenazi, of ordering intentional killing, wounding of Turkish nationals on Mavi Marmara; charges still need to be approved by Istanbul district prosecutor.
According to the Turkish daily Sabah, Ankara's chief prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya is due to file a 144-page indictment targeting Ashkenazi, former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, former Israel Navy chief Eliezer Maron, and former head of Israel Air force's intelligence wing Avishai Levy over the raid on the Mavi Marmara, which resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish nationals.

The report indicated that Turkey intended to charge the former officials for ordering IDF troops to intentionally kill, wound, and abduct Turkish activists, as well as encourage their torture and loot their belongings.

Turkey issued warrants against all four former Israeli officers, and they could be arrested on arrival in Turkey, the report added.

Israel's raid of the Gaza-bound flotilla proved a watershed moment in Israel-Turkey relations, with the once staunch allies trading blame over responsibility for the incident.

Turkey has insisted that Israel apologize for the raid and its consequences, as well as pay reparations to the families of those killed; Israel has, thus far, refused to do so.
Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara as part of Israel's right to conduct a blockade of Gaza and were met with violence, including individuals carrying knives who assaulted the commandos. It was once those commandos were threatened that they responded with deadly force. Evidence shows that the people on board the Mavi Marmara, including those from the group IHH, had every intention of creating a violent confrontation. That will likely be ignored by the Turkish officials pushing this indictment.

Other ships in the flotilla were raided but no confrontations occurred on them.

The whole purpose of the flotilla was meant to confront Israel over its ongoing sea blockade of Gaza to prevent Hamas from being supplied with weapons and personnel.

That's despite the fact that the UN found that Israel was legally within its rights to enforce the blockade and that its actions were within Israel's legal rights. It hasn't stopped Turkey's leaders from pandering to the Islamists by pushing for indictments and straining its relations with Israel.

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