Israeli media is reporting on a trial being held inn Turkey where four senior Israeli military officers are accused of being responsible for the death deaths of nine people in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla incident. According to a Ynetnews report:
Israeli defense officials were relatively unfazed by a trial that kicked off in Turkey Tuesday against four former senior IDF officers including former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi and former Navy commander Eliezer Marom for their part in the killing of nine people during a raid on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010. The Prosecution demands nine consecutive life sentences for the officers in, but it appears unlikely that any sentence could be carried out. The four are being tried in absentia in a trial that is set to be broadcast on Turkish TV and include the testimonies of 490 witnesses, including passengers who were onboard the Gaza-bound ship. Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch and Mohammed Zidan, head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee are among the witnesses. Former Military Advocate General Avichai Mandelblit said this particular case is unusual but one that should not trouble the four Israeli defendants too much. ‘There’s no great surprise here, they said this is going to happen,’ he told Ynet. ‘It’s more politics than law. It’s a show, a fixed game with pre-decided outcomes,’ he explained. ‘What is special is that Turkey, which is considered to have a serious judicial system, has bent the law and Turkish criminal procedure with these charges and this type of trial.’ Currently a senior analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies, Mandelblit says that the trial poses ‘an innovation in modern warfare: using the court for political ends. That’s what the Goldstone Commission tried to do – to turn the IDF’s operational achievement into a defeat.’ ‘The trial in Turkey is a combination of cynical politics and legal tools. I’m all for legitimate international tribunals like the International Court of Justice but here we have cameras inside the courtroom, hundreds of witnesses as if it’s the Eichmann trial and one goal: Defaming the State of Israel.’
Read the rest here.
A 2011report from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) analyzed the role of Turkey and the Global Muslim Brotherhood in the flotilla incident. Important conclusions from the report include:
- There is strong evidence for Turkish governmental involvement in the Gaza flotilla incident, with Turkish government support channeled through the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The IHH was not acting alone but rather was an integral part of a Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network.
- The Gaza flotilla incident brought into sharp focus an even more significant long- term development: the growing relationship between the Erdogan government and the Global Muslim Brotherhood, which has given rise to some of the most notorious Islamist terrorist groups – from al-Qaeda to Hamas. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, while the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip acted as the main axis for this activity.
- Although IHH declared that the flotilla was humanitarian in nature, the history of IHH suggests that it is not only a humanitarian organization…..Aside from these terrorist connections, this report demonstrates that IHH and the rest of the Turkish/MB network are in fact Islamist, politicized organizations. ….Whether or not the violence was planned, this report demonstrates that the intent of the flotilla was breaking the Gaza blockade and delegitimizing Israel.
A post from last week reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he plans to visit the Gaza Strip soon.