The IDF is taking legal precautions to protect soldiers and officers who
participated in the operation to stop the Mavi Marmara Turkish passenger ship,
senior defense officials said on Monday after Turkish news reports claimed
intelligence agencies had compiled a list identifying 174 soldiers who could be
prosecuted for their involvement in the operation.
The Istanbul deputy
public prosecutor Ates Shasan Sozen later told the Today’s Zaman newspaper that
the list was compiled by IHH, the organization that organized the Gaza flotilla,
and not by Turkish intelligence.
Erdogan plays out anti-Israel routine during UN
Turkish PM: Gaza flotilla raid was 'grounds for
Earlier Monday, the Sabah newspaper
wrote that the names were acquired by Turkish intelligence agencies that had
studied social connections on Facebook and Twitter, as well as photographs on
those websites with ones taken on board the Mavi Marmara.
The list of 174
names was transferred to Turkish prosecutors, in addition to pictures of 10 IDF
soldiers the paper said could not be identified.
Included on the list
were not only those IDF soldiers who participated directly in the operation to
stop the Gaza flotilla, but also senior IDF officers.
The list reportedly
includes commandos from the navy’s Flotilla 13 – better known as the “Shayetet”
– as well as their commanders, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
month, the IDF Military Advocate General’s office established a joint team with
the Justice Ministry to study the Palmer Report, which justified Israel’s
decision to impose a sea blockade on the Gaza Strip but also harshly criticized
the navy’s operation to stop the Gaza-bound flotilla.
The report said that
“the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces
during the takeover of the Mavi Marmara
The team is
studying the legal consequences of the report and possible ways to provide
protections to IDF soldiers. Due to this threat, Barak had tried to broker a
compromise with Turkey in an effort to minimize the legal exposure to the
A senior IDF officer said at the time that the Palmer Report
could potentially serve as the basis for criminal lawsuits against the commandos
who boarded the ship as well as additional senior IDF officers, including
commander of the navy V.-Adm. Eliezer Marom and the chief of general staff at
the time, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, for their role in the operation.
officers are already vulnerable to legal action due to their involvement in
Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip two years ago.
On Sunday, Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of having killed “hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians” and showing “no mercy,” while at the same time
touting his own role as leader not only of the Turkish people but the entire
In an interview that aired Sunday, Erdogan told CNN’s Fareed
Zakaria that Israelis “say that Palestine is bombing and disturbing the people
of Israel and many Israelis have been killed... I would like to see accurate
statistics of how many Israelis have been killed by the bombs thrown by
Palestinians or with the rockets that were launched by them. Ten, 20, 100, 200?
How many? Please document it. Let us know.
“But on the other hand, we
know that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Only as a
result of the Gaza attack, thousands of people were killed,” he said.
Turkish premier also accused Israel of exploiting the Holocaust for its own
“The Israeli people are only resorting back to the issue of
genocide in history. And using that genocide, they are always acting as if they
are the victims all the time,” he said.
“We said, for that, go ask
Germany to pay its dues and they have. So Germany has paid and is still paying
its dues to Israel. But neither Turkey nor the Muslims in the region have such a
They have never exerted such cruelty on Israel. But Israel is
very cruel in that regard. It shows no mercy.”
A day later, Erdogan said
he has no choice but to demand an apology from Israel for the deaths of nine
Turkish citizens in the May raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara
Turkish leader has also demanded Israel pay compensation to the families of
those killed, and lift the nearly three-year blockade on the Hamas-run
In an interview with US public radio station NPR, Erdogan
said, “Never forget that as a prime minister, as a leader of my country, I’m
carrying a responsibility. I’m not only speaking about the 74 million
inhabitants who are living in Turkey, who are my citizens... but also the entire
population of the Arab world that expects our reaction and our response on this
“They will always observe whether I’m taking ownership of my
citizens who have been killed on board a ship navigating in international
territorial waters or not,” Erdogan said.
“This is a duty for me. This is