Weapons from Mavi Marmara 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The internal IDF inquiry into the Navy’s raid on the international aid flotilla
that was stopped two weeks ago will investigate the intelligence flaws that led
to the operation’s outcome and will likely submit recommendations regarding
Israeli efforts to collect intelligence on terror organizations in Turkey, The
Jerusalem Post has learned.
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Last week, IDF Chief of General Staff
Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi appointed former head of the National Security Council
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland to head an internal military probe into the Navy’s
operation to stop the flotilla.
During the boarding of the Turkish
passenger ship Mavi Marmara
, Navy commandos from Flotilla 13 – known as the
Shayetet – killed nine passengers who had brutally attacked them and who the IDF
said were mercenaries.
According to senior officers, the probe will focus
on four main issues. The first is whether the Shayetet was the right unit to
carry out such an operation. The second relates to the tactical level, including
the way the ship was boarded – navy commandos fast-roped onto the ships from
helicopters – and whether there were other viable alternatives for stopping the
flotilla. The third issue pertains to the internal military decision-making
process leading up to the operation, and the fourth deals with intelligence
“No agency in Israel, including the Mossad, currently collects
intelligence on terror organizations in Turkey,” a senior defense official said
“One question that will need to come up is whether this should
remain the case or whether this needs to change.”
According to the
official, there are other reasons, in addition to the flotilla and the
government’s suspected involvement in financing the mercenaries, to
begin turning Israeli intelligence agencies’ focus to terror
“There is a radical process sweeping throughout Turkey
now,” the official said. “It is important to understand where things are
there and how this will affect Israel.”
Ashkenazi said on Sunday
while the IDF was probing the operation, he had no doubt that the navy
operated appropriately when boarding the Mavi Marmara
between the commandos and the terrorists on the ship is part of a
effort to delegitimize Israel,” Ashkenazi said.
Minister Ehud Barak canceled plans to travel to Paris to open the
pavilion at the Eurosatory defense expo.
His office said that
decided to remain in Israel while the government establishes a committee
investigate the raid
on the Gaza-bound flotilla.
meet high-ranking French officials, including French Foreign Minister
Kouchner and Defense Minister Herve Morin.
threatened to try to bring charges against Barak and other Israeli
under the principle of universal jurisdiction. This principle allows the
prosecution of suspected war criminals in countries that have no direct
connection with the events.
In addition, former navy commander
Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Ami Ayalon called on Barak to “accept
responsibility for the consequences of the decision to raid [last week’s
Speaking on Israel Radio, Ayalon said the
government showed “poor decision making” and that “the blockade became
policy objective instead of the means to achieve the objective.”
criticized Barak for spearheading Israel’s strongarm policy without
the need for international support.Jerusalem Post staff