Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, January 2011
Erdogan Slams Israeli Internal Inquiry, Turkel Report, as Biased and Meaningless
Erdogan slams Turkel report as biased and meaningless
[ 24/01/2011 - 10:46 AM ]
Turkish premier Recep Erdogan on Sunday criticized the Israeli Turkel Committee's findings defending the deadly attack on Freedom Flotilla aid convoy as having no value or credibility.
The Israeli inquiry concluded that the attack last May, in which nine Turkish activists were killed in cold blood by Israeli commandos, did not violate international law. Erdogan made it crystal clear that the report was a whitewash.
The report also claimed that Israel and its army acted in accordance with international law regarding the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
The Turkish ministry of foreign affairs also slammed the report and considered the attack on the convoy and Gaza siege violations against international law.
The ministry stated that Israel's blockade on Gaza exceeded its security needs and became a mass punishment against civilians because it blocks vital needs from them. It added that the Israeli report was contrary to the findings reached by the international inquiry committee that said Israel violated international law when it attacked Freedom Flotilla.
For her part, Arab Knesset member Haneen Zoabi condemned the findings of Turkel committee as biased, affirming that the position of this committee was determined on the basis of listening to testimonies given by Israeli political circles that had approved the attack on the convoy.
Zoabi, who was aboard Mavi Marmara cruise ship and witnessed the massacre, added that the Israeli probe committee also listened to "eyewitnesses" who did not see what happened aboard the ship, and refused to summon her as the only witness to the incident for fear her testimony would negatively affect the results of the Israeli report. Another Knesset member Taleb Al-Sana said he was not surprised at the results of the Israeli inquiry committee, stressing that this committee was formed from the beginning to protect Israel's interests and acquit it of any guilt.
The Israeli report was also denounced by first deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council Dr. Ahmed Bahr who called on the international community to form a committee to probe the massacre during the attack on the Freedom Flotilla aid convoy.
Dr. Bahr in a press release on Sunday urged as well human rights orgnizations and parliaments all over the world to assume their responsibilities and confront Israel's blatant disrespect for the principles and provisions of international law.
Hamas condemns Turkel probe's exoneration of Israel
[ 23/01/2011 - 07:28 PM ]
The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, strongly denounced the results of the Turkel probe into the lethal attack by Israeli troops on the Freedom Flotilla during an attempt to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
The board released a report Sunday concluding that the attack did not contravene with international laws.
Hamas said the report reveals the panel's political role in legitimizing Israeli aggression and that facts were distorted.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum confirmed his party's rejection of the board, saying it is not plausible that the offender is the judge at the same time.
"It is an attempt to display [Israel's] image as civilized and democratic and save the occupation government from its predicament stemming from its involvement in terrorist acts," he said.
The investigation concluded Israel's siege on Gaza and attack on the Freedom Flotilla were done in accordance with and did not constitute any violation of international law
According to Yakoub Turkel, chairing the probe, Israel has fulfilled the obligation of supplying the strip's medical needs throughout the siege and did not deliberately starve the population there.
Turkel claimed clear evidence implies the naval convoy was trying to break the Gaza siege and extremist Islamic elements were among the Turkish activists on board and directly took part in "hostile acts".
Israeli media outlets earlier expressed belief that the internationally questionable probe would exonerate Israel of any suspicions around the attack against the fleet's Mavi Marmara that left nine dead.
Gaza flotilla survivors respond to Turkel Commission report
After Israel released a report absolving its forces from wrongdoing
in an attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla last year that left nine aid
workers dead, survivors of the attack roundly criticized the report
Sunday, calling it a “whitewash” and a “farce”.
Israel’s internal inquiry into killing of humanitarian aid workers finds no wrongdoing
The commission created by the Israeli government to ‘investigate’ the
Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters in
May 2010 has issued its first report, claiming that Israeli soldiers
“acted in self defense”. The “internal investigation” has been called
into question by international bodies for its failure to interview any
of the hundreds of witnesses on the ships, relying only on the
testimonies of the soldiers themselves.
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