An Israeli deputy prime minister has blamed the "failure" of the deadly attack on the Gaza Flotilla on the Defense Ministry for mishandling the issue.
"In a place where citations should have been given, someone failed to prepare a standard operating procedure," Moshe Ya’alon, the deputy prime minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs, said Tuesday, Ynetnews reported.
Ya’alon has came under severe criticism in Tel Aviv over issuing the order to Israeli navy forces to storm the aid Flotilla in international waters — the attack killed and wounded many peace activists.
The remarks prompted a senior Defense Ministry official to react, saying, "Since Ya’alon was the acting prime minister at the time of the incident, he is responsible."
"If there wasn’t a standard operating procedure, why didn’t he make sure there was one?" added the official whose identity has not been revealed. "Why didn’t he hold a consultation several hours after the Flotilla incident and send the ministers to give interviews to the press?"
The attack has provoked an international outcry with many nations condemning the move.
"Ya’alon could have ensured what the army had and what it didn’t have before the operation, and his remarks are an attempt to shirk responsibility ahead of the commission of inquiry," the Defense Ministry official said.
Tel Aviv, rejecting the UN call for an international probe and defending its action as "self-defense", says it will carry out its own internal investigations into the incident.