Turkish inquiry: IDF fired before reaching Marmara’s deck
By DAN IZENBERG
Commission says Israel Navy commando raiders tortured activists after premeditated attack last May.
Two of the nine Turks killed aboard the Mavi Marmara were shot by commandos repelling toward the ship’s deck – before there was any resistance – alleges the Turkish commission that investigated the conflict, Reuters reported on Monday.
The Turkish report was submitted to the UN on September 1.
However, its contents were made public on Monday – one day after the Israeli commission of inquiry, headed by retired Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel, published its report.
Turkel’s commission found that Israel acted legally in establishing and enforcing the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip; and in the way it secured the ships that were trying to reach Gaza.
The Turkish report charged that Israel carried out a premeditated attack on the flotilla, which was carrying humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip.
It says Israeli forces besieged the vessel with rubber dinghies, helicopters armed with machine guns, laser guns, pistols and paint rifles.
The report also charged that Israel Navy commandos tortured some of the passengers, who hailed from 37 countries.
“They tortured them physically and psychologically, beat and kicked and punched them, withheld food and drink, handcuffed them and exposed them to the sun for hours at a time,” the report said. “They also prevented them from relieving themselves and cursed them.”
In response to the Turkel Commission report, NGO Monitor issued a statement saying the commission rejected the material presented to it by human rights organizations, including Gisha, B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights.
“The Commission showed a sophisticated understanding of the lack of credibility in NGO claims, and recognition that these are political advocacy organizations,” it said.
The president of NGO Monitor, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, added that the Turkel report “affirms that NGOs provided biased and unverifiable allegations regarding the flotilla incident and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.”
MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) issued a statement stating, “It is no surprise that anyone who justified the siege and slow killing of one-and-a-half million Palestinians would justify the brutal attack on the Freedom flotilla and the killing of nine political activists.”
Zoabi said the Turkel Commission “cannot persuade the world that Israel is not a serial international- law violator, and that the commission did not invite the only witness who saw what happened on board because it was afraid to upset the ‘harmony’ of the report.”
Zoabi was referring to herself, one of the hundreds of passengers on the Mavi Marmara.
The committee questioned two other passengers, Sheikh Hamad Abu Dabus, head of the southern wing of the Islamic Movement, and Muhammad Zidan, chairman of the High Monitoring Committee of the Arab Citizens of Israel. Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive news