International prosecutors believe Israeli soldiers may have committed war crimes during a raid that killed nine Turkish activists in 2010, but have decided the case is beyond their remit, according to court papers seen by Reuters.
The move by lawyers at the International Criminal Court is likely to enrage Ankara which accused its erstwhile ally Israel of mass murder after the commandos abseiled onto a flotilla challenging an Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
"The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes under the Court's jurisdiction have been committed in the context of interception and takeover of the Mavi Marmara by IDF soldiers on 31 May 2010," read the paper seen on Wednesday.
But the lawyers decided the crimes in question were not of sufficient gravity to fall under the court's jurisdiction, the papers added.
Prosecutors added they had reached these conclusions on the basis of publicly available information.