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#Mavi Marmara

# mavi-marmara - Thursday 6 November, 2014

No prosecution for Israel over flotilla raid despite 'reasonable belief of war crimes'

Israeli commandos stormed the ship in 2010, killing ten people.

# mavi-marmara - Friday 22 March, 2013

Turkey accepts Israeli apology over fatal flotilla raid

Benjamin Netanyahu has apologised to Turkey for a deadly 2010 flotilla raid and announced a full resumption of diplomatic ties as well as compensation for the families of those killed.

# mavi-marmara - Friday 2 September, 2011

UN: Israeli blockade of Gaza legal but troops' use of force excessive

A UN report on last year’s deadly Gaza flotilla raid has concluded that the blockade is legal but that the actions of the IDF were “excessive”. Turkey has reacted angrily – threatening to take the matter to the International Court of Justice.

# mavi-marmara - Monday 24 January, 2011

Gaza flotilla raid legal, says Israeli inquiry

The Israeli raid on a Turkish ship bound for Gaza was legal, a commission finds, because Israel is in a state of war.

# mavi-marmara - Sunday 26 September, 2010

Boat of activists leaves Cyprus for Gaza

Nine activists attempt to deliver toys and medicine to Gaza, saying they will not resist any Israeli attempts to board the boat.

# mavi-marmara - Monday 9 August, 2010

ISRAELI PRESIDENT Benjamin Netanyahu has appeared before an Israeli commission set up by the state to examine a deadly raid on a flotilla in international waters in May.

During his four-hour testimony, Netanyahu has insisted that the raid – which resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish citizens – was not in breach of international law.

“Not in breach of international law

“I am convinced that at the end of your investigation, it will become clear that the state of Israel and the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] acted in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu told the panel.

The panel included retired Israeli Supreme Court judge, Jacob Turkel, Lord David Trimble from Northern Ireland, and retired Canadian General Ken Watkin.

Turkish government “did nothing”

In a move that is unlikely speed a recovery in friendly relations between the former allies, Netanyahu blamed the Turkish government for not stopping the flotilla:

“Despite our diplomatic efforts, the Turkish government did nothing,” he said, “It appears that the Turkish government did not see in the prospect of a clash between Turkish activists and Israel (to be) something that clashed with its interests.”

A further session is expected to continue during Monday afternoon, which will see the Israeli premier testify in camera. Netanyahu will presumably answer questions during this session that he refused to address publicly, including the names of Israeli officials who allegedly spoke with the Turkish government prior to the raid, and whether the Israeli government had considered a non-military approach to stopping the flotilla.

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla – what happened?

Nine Turkish citizens died after Israeli forces stormed their ship, the Mavi Marmara, in May. The vessel was part of a flotilla that claimed to be travelling to the Palestinian port of Gaza with humanitarian aid.

However, Israel does not accept that the flotilla – which also included Irish vessel The Rachel Corrie – was attempting to breach the Israeli blockade of the city for purely humanitarian reasons.

“Elements hostile to Israel used the bogus rationale of a humanitarian crisis in order to try to break the naval blockade,” Netanyahu said.

Israel and Turkey also clash on who instigated the violence on the Mavi Marmara: the activists who were on board claim that Israeli soldiers opened fire on them, while the soldiers accuse those on the ship of attacking first.

The Israeli army already conducted its own investigation into the raid last month, which found that the use of live fire was justified.

UN inquiry to follow

Today’s inquiry is designed only to examine the legality of the action taken by the Israeli military, not the circumstances – political or otherwise – that led to the attack. A separate United Nations panel is expected to begin work on its own investigation later this week.

Turkey will also hold its own inquiry into the raid.

See comments made by an Israeli government spokesperson to BBC reporters following Netanyahu’s testimony:

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