Barak: Israel is a law-abiding country, respects the norms

MK Zuabi claims findings on flotilla raid offer only official Israeli side; Kadima MK: Findings don't deal with diplomatic, intel failures.

Balad MK haneen zuabi 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerzolomiski [file])
Balad MK haneen zuabi 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerzolomiski [file])
Defense Minister Ehud Barak welcomed the conclusions of the report in the May 31 IDF interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla, published Sunday by the Turkel Committee.
Barak said that "the report proves that Israel is a law-abiding country that knows how to examine itself and respects the norms and rules of the international system."
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"The IDF will study the report in depth and will produce the necessary conclusions," Barak added.
The defense minister approved the committee's assessment that IDF soldiers and commanders acted properly and with discretion and professionalism.
MK Haneen Zuabi (Balad), who was onboard the Mavi Marmara aid ship to Gaza, offered a different conclusion, saying that the report only contains the official Israeli version of events.
"The report can not repair the image that Israel has as a country that continues to break international law," Zuabi said.
"The commission did not call upon the only citizen and witness that saw what happened because of suspicions that her testimony would harm the harmony of the report," she continued.
Last August, a video was released showing that Zuabi knew that IHH activsts aboard the Mavi Marmara were armed. The clip shows Zuabi standing side by side with IHH members armed with metal pipes while IDF soldiers attempt to take command of the ship's lower deck. She can later be heard arguing with IDF commanders in an attempt to prevent them from evacuating a seriously injured man.
She had previously stated that she had helped IDF forces evacuate the injured from the ship.
Kadima MK Yoel Hasson defended the Turkel Committee, agreeing that Israel's military actions in capturing the Mavi Marmara were in accordance with international law.
"There is no doubt that Israeli action was legal and legitimate, and it [Israel] acted as any other sovereign state would," Hasson said.
Hasson did, however, mention that the Tukel Committee did not discuss the government decision-making process by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Barak.
"The committee also did not deal with difficult questions regarding how prepared Israel was in expecting the flotilla, the severe intelligence failure, the examination of the various alternatives, and diplomatic failures," Hasson added.