Maj.-Gen Giora Eiland said that it was possible to prevent the May 31 flotilla to Gaza by political means, speaking in an interview with Army radio Friday.
"Three months before the flotilla there were many courses of action which could have prevented it," said Eiland, head of a military commission charged with conducting an internal investigation of the Gaza-bound flotilla which was boarded by Israeli commandos, leaving nine Turkish citizens dead.
Eiland suggested Israel "could have opened the Gaza crossings in advance, before the Turkish flotilla." The crossings were expanded to allow more aid to go through, but only done in the wake of international pressure after the flotilla.
Eiland also said Israel knew in advance about the changing political winds in Turkey and its tightening of ties with the IHH, the organization behind the flotilla. However, he thought this only strengthened Israel's resolve to continue with the predicted course of events, which led to the boarding of the Mavi Marmara, flagship of the flotilla.