PMO: Ya'alon knew about flotilla raid

Channel 2 claimed PM's replacement not informed of impending ship op.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 10, 2010 22:25
1 minute read.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Ariel Je

yaalon great 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who was filling in for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week while in North America, was never informed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak of plans to take over a Gaza-bound flotilla, Channel 2 news reported on Thursday.

The defense minister issued a denial, saying that the deputy prime minister’s office was periodically notified of the plans. The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying that Ya’alon was “briefed continuously by the military attache in the Prime Minister’s Office before the seizure of the boat, during and afterward.”

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Channel 2 news also reported on the plans for a committee to investigate the raid. It reported that the committee would be headed by a retired high court judge, Jacob Turkel, and include two respected foreign legal experts. They will examine the legality of the ship’s takeover and whether excessive force was used in the process.

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Turkel was a High Court judge from 1995 to 2005, and before that spent many years as the head of the Beersheba District Court.

This investigation would appear to be in addition to the military investigation of the raid, which is due to report its findings on July 4.

Earlier this week, Ya’alon criticized the IDF’s battle plan for stopping the international aid flotilla and called for an investigation of the tactical level that carried out the operation.



 According to a report on Army Radio on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry prohibited IDF officers from attending a discussion at the National Security Council that was held three weeks before the raid on the flotilla. Foreign Ministry officials who were present at the meeting were reportedly surprised that the IDF was missing.

Barak’s office said that the officers’ absence was coordinated with the Prime Minister’s Office but the officers reportedly complained to several members of the Knesset that they were left out of the meeting that was deemed critical ahead of the operation.

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