Flotilla Committee 311.
(photo credit: Moshe Milner)
The Terkel Committee, appointed to investigate the circumstances of the IDF’s
interception of the Mavi Marmara and five other ships heading for Gaza last
month, held its first public meeting on Monday morning.
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The head of the
committee, retired Supreme Court justice Ya’acov Terkel, introduced its members,
legal expert Prof. Shabtai Rosenne and military expert Maj.- Gen. (res.) Amos
He also introduced the two international observers, David Trimble
of Ireland and Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Ken Watkin of Canada.
Terkel said the
committee would immediately summon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen.
Gabi Ashkenazi and
other senior officials to testify before it.
Trimble said that he hoped
to contribute to the inquiry and added, “We are all determined that the
be vigorous and hope that it can make a contribution to peace.”
committee, officially called the independent Public Commission to
Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010, was established by the cabinet on
Its mandate is to “examine the aspects... relating to the actions
taken by the State of Israel to prevent vessels from reaching the coast
Gaza Strip on May 31.”
During the takeover of the largest vessel in the
flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, nine Turkish men were killed and dozens of
passengers were wounded. Seven Israeli soldiers were also wounded.
specific topics to be examined by the committee include the security
circumstances leading to the imposition of the Israeli sea blockade on
the conformity of the blockade to the rules of international law. The
will also investigate the legality of the actions taken by the Navy on
May 31 to
prevent the flotilla from reaching Gaza and an investigation of the
taken by the flotilla organizers.