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Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship. DAILY NEWS Photo by Emrah Güler

Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship. DAILY NEWS Photo by Emrah Güler

Israel’s state watchdog criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday over his handling of a 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine Turks dead and put ties with Ankara at all-time low.

In a 153-page report, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss criticized the decision-making process which led to the botched pre-dawn raid on the six-ship flotilla on May 31, 2010, which was headed by the Mavi Marmara.

“In the process of decision-making, which was led by the prime minister and under his responsibility, regarding the handling of the [flotilla], there were significant shortcomings,” Lindenstrauss wrote in the report. Netanyahu, it said, had not held any structured, formal discussion with top ministers about the flotilla, and had only held separate talks on the issue with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, none of which were properly documented.

“The prime minister did not order integrative staff work regarding the necessary policy to deal with the flotilla, instead there were personal, separate meetings, between the prime minister and the defense minister, and between the prime minister and the foreign minister, which were not documented or summarized, and there was no discussion between the prime minister and any group of ministers,” the report said.

“The only discussion that took place on the issue was in the Forum of Seven just before the flotilla arrived, an ‘ad-hoc’ discussion without any preparation,” it said, referring to Netanyahu’s inner circle of senior ministers, which is now nine in number. “The process of decision-making was done without orderly, agreed-upon, coordinated and documented staff work, despite the recognition of the senior political echelon and Israel Defense Forces chiefs, intelligence bodies and the National Security Council on the exceptional nature of the Turkish flotilla compared to previous flotillas,” it said. Although Barak and then chief-of-staff Gabi Ashkenazi had raised fears the activists could be armed, nothing was done to plan a suitable response, it said.

Responses from Netanyahu and Barak

“The defense minister did not discuss ways of dealing with risks that emerged in consultations he himself held, including the risks he noted.”

According to the report, Netanyahu was in indirect contact with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in attempts to prevent the ships from setting sail, but failed to do so. Responding to the report, the prime minister’s office issued a statement defending its record on managing issues of state security, saying Israel was enjoying a level of security not seen “for many years.”

“This security is the direct result of responsible management and determined policy. The security discussions that have been held over the past three years have been unprecedented in their scope and depth, as attested to by those who have participated in them,” it said.

Barak also responded to the report, pledging to implement the necessary changes. “Defense Minister Ehud Barak accepts the criticism and will work...to ensure that the military and defense establishment will fix all that needs to be fixed,” a statement from his office said. “That’s what should be done and that is what will be done.”

June/14/2012

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Murat

6/14/2012 4:26:47 PM

This has little to do with Israel being weak or small. Peace activists presented no threat to Israel, in any form and shape. They were totally unarmed, IDF brough the only firearms on board. One does not shoot unarmed people in the head and back multiple times in self-defense no matter what the provocation is. They heve never shot any violent zionist extremists. Then the killers are medaled and called heros by Bibi publically. Justice is demanded not apologies.

Mark Tak

6/14/2012 10:49:37 AM

OK. Israel made a mistake but we the Turks should be like before support Israel,they are peronoid yes but look how small they are no room to to hide,and surounded by enemies, lets give them some syphaty,Turks never suffered any problem bz of Jews, Jews like Turks we are historical ally,yes they make mistakes but lets not humiliate them in the process, they can apear to be weak, than everyone will join the push and shaw, Turks forget snd forgive,

Mark Tak

6/14/2012 10:44:31 AM

Israel is a superpower, lets get that right first,and US is fully controlled by Israel 95% US congress and 89% of US media is in the hands of Jewish owners, Wall street to University deans, jewelery to Electronics, you name it all Jews are leading to pack,.when you confront Israel you are confronting US, now Turks go ahead figure that one out,yes Jews like Turks but lets not push it to limit, Israel is a small state.they have to be careful,OK?

ilker avni

6/14/2012 10:17:43 AM

It just goes to show Netanhayu and his little gang are just gansters,operating without due process they took it upon themselfs to give out the orders to kill,they allso are guilty and should be held to account for their crimes, as well as the soldiers who committed their crimes in international waters.
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