Following a Turkish court's decision to issue warrants for former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi and three other retired army officers, Israel appealed to Interpol, claiming that the ruling was "tainted by political motives" and therefore Interpol should not carry it out, Ma'ariv reported.
The warrants were issued in connection with the May 2010 IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara blockade-running ship in which nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed after attacking IDF naval commandos. A tenth died recently of his wounds.
The court requested that Interpol issue a Red Notice for the arrest of Ashkenazi, along with former Navy chief V.-Adm. (res.) Eliezer Marom, ex-Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, and former Air Force intel chief Avishai Levi.
The former Israeli commanders were tried in absentia at the Istanbul 7th Court of Serious Crimes, reported the Hurriyet Daily News, adding that Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying “the judiciary process is ongoing” and “the ruling is being examined by law experts.”
Interpol statutes state that proceedings related to political or military affairs are not ones in which Interpol may intervene, so it is more than likely that they will not put out international arrest warrants for the four officers.
The move came after months of negotiations between Turkey and Israel to end a diplomatic crisis over the commando raid on the Turkish ship challenging Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, run by Hamas.
Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.