IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz expressed support on Sunday for
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to reach a detente with Turkey
through an apology over the result of the naval raid on the Turkish
“The cutting of relations has many consequences, and the prime
minister acted correctly,” Gantz said.
At the same time, the chief of
staff stressed that he fully supported the actions of the naval commandos who
participated in the raid on violent IHH activists on board the Mavi Marmara ship
He described the raid as “professional, determined, and ethical.
Any other army would have completed this with dozens of dead. The commandos
carried out a good operation,” Gantz added.
He expressed confidence that
the commandos understood the factors that led the prime minister to reach out to
Former Navy chief Maj.- Gen. Eliezer Marom expressed skepticism
that the apology would result in improved relations with Turkey, and called for
full backing to be provided to Navy commandos.
Speaking to Army Radio on
Sunday, Marom said that the prime minister “sees the full
picture... [but] I have doubts about the timing and motivation of this
apology.” He described the Navy’s interception of the Turkish flotilla in 2010
as an important contribution to Israeli security, and part of a wider policy
“which prevented the setting up of an Iranian port in Gaza.”
sure that the apology will be worthwhile for Israel... I don’t think that
tomorrow morning relations between us and Turkey will go back to what they
were,” he added.
“It’s very important for soldiers to receive backing
before, during, and after operations,” the ex-Navy commander
Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is in line with international law,
and is aimed at preventing arms shipments to terror organizations, Marom pointed
“The Turkish government and other elements, despite requests by
me... and government officials, preferred to let the IHH – a terrorist
organization that is accused of supporting al- Qaida in Turkey itself – it
allowed a flotilla of hate for Israel [to proceed],” Marom added. “They attacked