Israel’s military probe into the May 31 attack on a Gaza aid convoy has found Israeli forces guilty of serious errors in preparing and carrying out the deadly takeover.
The army’s probe commission led by retired Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland presented its findings in a report to Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on Sunday, the daily Yediot Aharonot reported.
On May 31, Israeli navy commandos launched an offensive on the six-vessel Gaza Freedom Flotilla and killed nine Turkish activists, including a Turkish-American teenager, onboard the civilian aid fleet.
The 150-page report noted mistakes were committed at different levels of command, from top officers to commandos.
The investigators said the navy failed to appropriately consider the possibility that the troops could encounter strong resistance during the boarding operation.
The findings, to be formally published on Monday, said the clashes occurred partly because the navy had failed to deploy enough forces on the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara.
They also charged the military with poor coordination with intelligence agencies in preparing for the raid, and using faulty information.
The Eiland commission was to look into the performance of the Israeli armed forces during the attack on the Turkish-organized Flotilla which earned Israel worldwide condemnations and major strains its ties with Ankara, Tel Aviv’s only Muslim ally.
Parallel to the military probe, Israel acquiesced to examine the legality of the attack which occurred in the international waters, and of Israel’s years-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.
But the so-called Tirkel commission is largely deemed a ploy by Tel Aviv to escape escalating pressure for an international inquiry into the lethal attack.
Including only two foreign observers with limited powers, the committee is seen far short of meeting international calls for an impartial investigation.