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Livni: Flotilla affair should be viewed in wider context
By JPOST.COM STAFF
10/25/2010
Opposition leader strongly supports legitimacy of Gaza blockade, IDF boarding operation, says raid was deliberate act of Turkish provocation.
 
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni testified before the Turkel Commission on Monday to provide an explanation of the previous government's policies in enacting the blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza.

"These policies are relevant in relation to the circumstances that led to the flotilla and the broader context in which the flotilla events were received in the national and international arenas," said Livni before her testimony.

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Livni had requested in August to testify to the committee about the previous government's decision to enact a blockade on Gaza - a government in which she played an active role as foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

During her testimony, the Kadima MK strongly supported the international legitimacy of the Israeli blockade of the port of Gaza based on previous agreements and termed the Turkish supported Mavi Marmara a deliberate act of political provocation.

"I requested to come and strengthen the legitimacy of the Israeli action against the flotilla," Livni testified. "At a specific stage, Turkey acted to exploit a political vacuum with the goal to provoke [Israel] and provide legitimacy to Hamas. The Turkish issue was not with the entry of goods into Gaza, this option was offered. Rather, it was a political act contrary to the international consensus."

Livni added, "Gaza[n authorities] never legitimately had control of access to the sea as determined by Israeli-Palestinian agreements from the years of 1994-1995. The port was not part of the arrangements that were recognized by the world community."
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