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Turkey releases report on flotilla incident, accusing Israel

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The Turkish report said that Israel mounted a “full-fledged and pre-meditated attack” by heavily armed soldiers with live ammunition that used “excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate force … against the civilians on board,” the Turkish report said.

Once the Israelis took over the vessel they “continued to brutalize and terrorize the passengers, abusing them physically and psychologically,” the report found. During interrogation that lasted days in Israel, all passengers were “forced to sign incriminatory statements” in Hebrew, while “evidence of critical importance to shed light on the attack was destroyed, tampered with or despoiled.”

Some findings of the Turkish report echo those from the UN Human Rights Council, whose fact-finding mission last September concluded “a series of violations of international law … were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla.”

What Israel found

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Israeli commission findings, which stated that Israeli soldiers acted appropriately on the ship after they “encountered a real resistance force, armed with clubs, iron rods, chairs, etc.”

The report stated that the “largest group” among the 600 on board was made up of “peace activists,” and that an order went out over the Mavi Marmara’s public address system telling all passengers to return to their seats.

The commission stated that passengers who were “direct participants in hostilities” could legally be considered combatants.

It also found that Israeli soldiers “acted professionally and in a measured manner,” though their actions “had the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries.”

"I hope all those who rushed to judgment against Israel and its soldiers will read these reports,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “The truth is that our soldiers were defending our country and defending their very lives. This is not only their right; it is their duty.”

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