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As UN probe begins, Netanyahu insists force necessary in Gaza flotilla raid

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With the United Nations in New York today opening a separate flotilla investigation, Mr. Netanyahu’s comments appeared crafted to defend Israel against international critics who are likely to zero in on Israel’s heavy handed tactics rather than the larger picture – including security threats from militants.

At home, most Israelis say Israel’s raid was unavoidable. Those who are critical of the raid see the Turkel Commission as too limited in scope to address the real issue: Israel’s policies toward militant groups like Hamas.

“There’s definitely a feeling that Israel responded in the only way it could, that this was a provocation against Israel, and I think that the Israel public is not expecting anyone to be held responsible,” says Gershon Baskin, codirector of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information.

Limited mandate

But part of the reason there is unlikely to be any political fallout is because the Turkel Commission is tasked only with determining the legality of the raid, not the more controversial issue of whether Israel’s blockade on Hamas-run Gaza is in accordance with international law.

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