By Ria Novosti
The UN secretary general’s Panel of Inquiry on last year’s incident involving a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine Turkish activists dead laid the blame on Israel, Turkey and trip organizers.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed nine Turkish activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla as they were trying to breach Israel’s embargo on the Gaza Strip.
“Although people are entitled to express their political views, the flotilla acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade,” the panel said in a report on the May 31, 2010 incident.
Speaking of Turkish officials, the report authors said they could have done “more to warn the flotilla participants of the potential risks involved and to dissuade them from their actions.”
“Israel’s decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable,” the report also said.
At the same time, the report noted that “Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza” and that “the naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
Israel said on Friday that it will not send an official apology to Turkey over the deadly Gaza flotilla raid, and Turkey responded by saying that it would minimize diplomatic relations with Israel and freeze cooperation in the military sphere.
Israel maintains that commandos who raided the ship opened fire because the activists attacked them, but the activists say they were attacked first.