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'Families of Marmara flotilla victims sue Israel'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
06/10/2012
Turkish daily reports 33 relatives of 9 Turkish activists killed in 2010 IDF raid file for $5 mil. compensation lawsuit against Israel.
 
Thirty-three family members of Turkish activists who participated in the Mavi Marmara flotilla heading to Gaza in 2010 filed a lawsuit on Friday demanding compensation after the fatal IDF raid, the Turkish Hurriyet daily reported Saturday.

According to the report, the families of Furkan Dogan, Cevdet Kiliçlar and Necdet Yildirim, who were killed during the Israel Navy’s interception of the flotilla, are suing Israel seeking moral and financial compensation that mounts to 10 million Turkish liras, or $5m.

Thirty other persons who were injured in the interception are also filing for compensation, the families’ attorney, Ugur Yildirim allegedly told Hurriyet.

In May, a Turkish court pressed formal charges against top IDF officers suspected of involvement in the killings aboard the Mavi Marmara.

It demanded nine consecutive life terms for four commanders, including ex-chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi and three other former senior military officials in a move one Israeli source labeled “the targeted killing of Israeli-Turkish ties.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has tried to broker a compromise with Turkey in an effort to minimize the legal exposure of the commandos.

Turkish news reports claimed last year that intelligence agencies had also compiled a list of 174 IDF soldiers who could be prosecuted for their involvement in the operation.

The IDF Military Advocate- General’s Office established a joint team with the Justice Ministry to study the UN-commissioned Palmer Report, released in September 2011, which justified Israel’s decision to impose a sea blockade on the Gaza Strip, but also 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 was unacceptable.”

The team was studying the legal consequences of the report and possible ways to provide protections to IDF soldiers.

A senior IDF officer said at the time that the Palmer Report could serve as the basis for criminal lawsuits against the commandos who boarded the ship as well as additional senior officers, including then-OC Navy V.-Adm. Eliezer Marom and then-chief of staff Ashkenazi, for their role in the operation.

However, Turkey rejected the report’s findings, saying Israel had no right to raid the ship in international waters and said it would never recognize the blockade’s legitimacy.

Meanwhile, the navy is preparing to intercept the latest Gaza-bound ship carrying European pro-Palestinian activists seeking to break the security naval blockade around the Strip.

An IDF source confirmed that the navy has carried out general preparations for future ships filled with activists.

Israel will not allow the vessel to reach Gaza, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday after the organizers of the “flotilla” issued a communiqué saying they received clearance in La Spezia, Italy, to set sail and will reach Gaza in some two weeks.

Herb Keinon, Ilene Prusher and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.
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