Israel’s Prime Minister has strongly defended the raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in which nine Turkish activists were killed. Benjamin Netanyahu went so far as to suggest Turkey sought the confrontation as part of a wider pro-muslim policy stance.
The internal Israeli inquiry is looking at the decisions made in the run-up to the raid at the end of May.
“There was an open Israeli offer that all cargo, all civilian cargo on these ships with a guarantee could be delivered to the Israeli port of Ashdod or to the Egyptian port of Al-Arish and there was a guarantee that all cargo would reach the people of Gaza. Unfortunately that diplomatic activity, as the Prime Minister said, was not successful. The people on the boat were looking for a confrontation.” said the Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesman, Mark Regev.
The flotilla was organised by a Turkish charity. Both the pro-Palestinian activists and the soldiers have accused each other of provoking the violence.
Turkey has cooled its once-warm ties with Israel in the wake of the incident.
Meanwhile, the ship at the centre of the inquiry has arrived back in Turkey, bearing the signs of violence. Shattered windows are visible on the bridge of the Mavi Marmara. It has also been claimed the vessel has been freshly painted in an attempt to disguise any damage.