Mavi Marmara Raid 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The IDF plans to take legal precautions to protect commandos from the navy’s
Flotilla 13 and other senior officers from criminal lawsuits that could be filed
against them following the publication of the Palmer Report.
RELATED:Opinion: Talk tough with Turkey
report justified Israel’s decision to impose a sea blockade on the Gaza Strip,
it harshly criticized the navy’s operation to stop the Gaza-bound flotilla,
saying “the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli
forces during the takeover of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable.”
senior IDF officer said the 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.
Both officers are already vulnerable to
legal action due to their involvement in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip
two years ago.
“This is a serious challenge that we will need to prepare
for,” the senior officer said. “While the reportjustified the blockade we cannot minimize the potential legal threat that stems
from its conclusion that the commandos used excessive force.”
result, the Military Advocate- General’s Office and the Justice Ministry are
setting up a special team to study the legal consequences of the report and
possible ways to provide protections to IDF soldiers.
Due to this threat,
Defense Minister Ehud Barak tried to broker a compromise with Turkey in an
effort to minimize the legal exposure to the commandos.
commission’s conclusions, the IDF stood behind the commandos on
Senior officers said the commandos were attacked by a group of
armed mercenaries and responded with force out of selfdefense and after a number
of them had been stabbed, beaten and taken hostage by the passengers into the
ship’s lower levels.