A Turkish rights group has criticized the Israeli premier for praising commandos for their deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in which nine activists were killed.
Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid (IHH) said on Wednesday that killing innocent and defenseless people is an evil deed which must be condemned not admired.
IHH organized the international aid flotilla that tried to break Israel’s crippling blockade on the Palestinian territory in late May.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday praised naval commandos for killing pro-Palestinian activists on board the lead ship, the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, in international waters.
Nine Turkish civilian activists were killed and many others were injured in the brutal attack.
The aid ships were supposed to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, who are in desperate need of help as a result of Tel Aviv’s years-long blockade on the coastal sliver.
Activists onboard the Mavi Marmara have repeatedly said that Israeli troops opened fire as soon as they boarded the ship.
But the Israeli premier on Tuesday repeated the military’s version of the events, claiming that the activists started the violence, prompting the commandos to open fire.
"You acted against those who tried to kill you. Your response was professional, heroic, restrained and ethical," Netanyahu told Israeli naval commandos during a special visit to the naval base at Atlit.
The deadly attack triggered international outrage and condemnation.