Israel Findings On Gaza Flotilla Raid Due

An Israeli inquiry into a military raid on aid ships trying to reach Gaza last May is due to publish its first findings. The raid, in which nine Turkish activists were killed, attracted widespread international condemnation.

(BBC)

An Israeli inquiry into a military raid on aid ships trying to reach Gaza last May is due to publish its first findings.

The raid, in which nine Turkish activists were killed, attracted widespread international condemnation.

The Mavi Marmara and other vessels were intercepted last May by Israeli navy commandos

The report is expected to broadly exonerate the actions of the Israeli navy.

A separate UN enquiry earlier this year said the navy had shown an "unacceptable level of brutality".

The Free Gaza Flotilla, which had over 600 pro-Palestinian activists on board, was trying to break Israel's blockade of the territory when it was intercepted by Israeli navy commandos.

The commission questioned several high-ranking Israeli officials, but was not given access to individual soldiers

Those on board the flotilla said they were savagely attacked.

Israel says its forces acted in self-defence, and set up its own enquiry.

The initial panel, with an average age of over 85, has been sitting for seven months - although one 93-year-old member died mid-way through.

Israeli naval commando boats escort the Irene, center right, a boat carrying nine Jewish activists attempting to breach Israel's naval blockade of Gaza, to the port of Ashdod, in the Mediterranean sea, southern Israel

According to leaks in the Israeli press, its initial findings will largely clear the navy of wrong doing.

If that happens, Israel's critics, for whom the internal investigation has little credibility, will likely call it a whitewash.

BBC