'Flotilla op ended in disaster'

Navy officers call on Netanyahu, Barak to establish probe into raid.

Gaza boat escort 311 (photo credit: AP)
Gaza boat escort 311
(photo credit: AP)
A group of senior Israel Navy officers in the reserves publicly called Sunday on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to establish an independent and external commission of inquiry to investigate last week's Navy operation against the Gaza protest flotilla.
"We believe that the operation ended in a disaster on a military and diplomatic level," the reserve officers, who served as commanders of navy ships, wrote in the letter.
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"We do not agree with the claims that there was an intelligence gap that caused the outcome. In addition, we do not accept the claim that there was a 'PR failure' and believe that the formula chosen ahead of time was doomed to fail."
The letter came as Netanyahu and his cabinet were mulling the possibility of accepting a United Nations demand to cooperate with an international commission of inquiry that would be led by a neutral well-known international diplomat and also include an Israeli and Turkish representative.
In the letter, the officers wrote that the organizers of the flotilla should not be held responsible for the tragic results, but rather the responsibility should fall "on the top commanders and those who approved the operation."