Netanyahu Praises the Soldiers Who Participated in the Mavi Marmara Incident
On this occasion, Netanyahu praised the soldiers and told them they had acted “heroically” and “ethically” defending themselves against those who “sought to kill you.”
Natanyahu added that Gaza is becoming an Iranian terror base, since it is led by the Iranian-backed organization Hamas, who won in 2007 democratic elections in the region.
Consequently, the Israeli PM said, the action took in May by the soldiers looks all the more “vital, imperative, important and legal.”
He said that facing a threat his soldiers responded “professionally, heroically, ethically and with restraint.”
After these remarks, Netanyahu visited the members of the commando who participated in the Mavi Marmara action, and net even the soldier who is still recuperating after being injured in the attack in May. The soldier said he was recuperating and wanted to return to active duty.
The blockade Israel has imposed on the people in Gaza Strip has two major purposes: the most important is to make sure no weapon is being smuggled to Gaza from Iran or other places, and to make sure that this blockade provokes hunger and shortage and that the people will blame that on the Hamas, weakening their political position.
It would seem that none of the two purposes was reached by the blockade, Hamas being more popular than in 2007, while Israel is drawing criticism from the civilized world.
After the conflict in May the Turkish government announced that no one kills Turkish citizens and gets away with it.
Since then, the relations were progressively deteriorated and Israel found itself in the position of finding another partner at least for the military drills the two countries used to execute.
An Israeli committee was appointed to investigate the causes of the Mavi Marmara incident.
Speaking before this committee, the PM Benjamin Netanyahu said almost the same thing as he said today to the soldiers that took part in the action. He insisted that the action his soldiers took was perfectly within the international law frame and no crime was committed and that the fault was of the Turkish passengers who attacked the Israeli troops.
Ehud Barak, the Defense Minister, also said that he took the entire responsibility upon himself, and that the action the army had to take was decided when all the other peaceful options were exhausted.
Barak said that the Israeli troops tried to dissuade the troops from coming further toward Gaza, and when that attempt failed, the minister continued, even the idea of letting them through was considered, for the sake of preserving the peace with Turkey.
Ultimately, it was decided that the risk of the convoy carrying weapons was too great and could cost the lives of many Israelis and thus a routine check was ordered.
The troopers descended on Mavi Marmara where they were attack and responded to the attacks killing 9 Turkish nationals, which provoked the anger of the Turkish government.
In an attempt to thaw the relations between Israel and Turkey the international community appointed an international panel of inquiry intended to issue a report in hopes that once the report was released to the public the conflict will be over.
The report was stating that the action the Israeli soldiers took was very brutal, and totally illegal.
These conclusions would match the statements made by the humanitarian activists who said that the Israeli troops looted the people on board, and also took the electronic equipment the convoy was carrying for the people in Gaza.
Israel said that the U.N. report was biased and that it was directed against Israel.
The Turkish government however expressed satisfaction and demanded an official apology to the purpose of ending this conflict. Israel refused to apologize to the Turkish government.
At the general assembly of the United Nations in September a meeting between the Israeli President Simon Peres and Turkish President Abdullah Gul was cancelled by the Israeli President who said the Turkish part had made unacceptable demands.11