Official report criticises Netanyahu over flotilla raid


A DAMNING report by Israel’s state comptroller has criticised prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s handling of the maritime raid on the Gaza-bound MV Mavi Marmara in 2010 which resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish activists.

The 153-page report by state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, which focused on the events leading up to the raid by Israeli naval commandos on May 31st, 2010, found “substantive and significant deficiencies” in the decision-making processes of the government and held Mr Netanyahu responsible for the way in which the incident was handled.

“The decision-making process was done without any organised staff work, no co-ordination, and no minutes of meetings were kept, despite the fact that the military brass, intelligence agencies and the national security council were all aware of the uniqueness of the Turkish flotilla,” the report said.

The report concluded that Mr Netanyahu “did not internalise that the forcible stopping of the flotilla was liable to spark a violent confrontation on the decks of the Mavi Marmara”.

Discussions on stopping the ship were limited to one-on-one meetings Mr Netanyahu held with defence minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. Israel’s security cabinet met only five days before the raid.

Eleven previous flotillas heading for Gaza had been peaceful but intelligence was received that hardcore Turkish Islamic activists would be among the participants in the May 2010 voyage.

In response to the report, a statement from Mr Netanyahu’s office avoided addressing the criticisms but noted “Israeli citizens enjoy a level of security they did not have for many years”, calling that “a direct result of responsible administration and resolute policy”.