An Israeli inquiry has cleared the country’s navy of any wrongdoing in the deadly raid of a Turkish aid flotilla that tried to reach the Gaza Strip last May
Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish activists when they stormed one of the ships.
Jacob Turkel, a retired Israeli Supreme Court judge headed the panel, which was set up by the government last June.
Turkel told reporters: “The commission concluded that the flotilla tried to break the maritime blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip. Therefore the Israeli forces acted legally in maintaining this blockade.”
Israel’s actions strained ties with Turkey – its prime minister said he was “appalled and dismayed” by the findings.
Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the report as having “no value or credibility.”
The raid on the six-ship flotilla drew widespread condemnation from the international community.
Israel said at the time that its soldiers fired live rounds in self-defence after being attacked with clubs, knives and guns.
But the activists onboard the Turkish-flagged Mavi Mamara said the commandos attacked them first.