News / Middle East

UN Panel Says Israel Use of Force 'Excessive' in Gaza Flotilla Raid

Thousands of pro-Palestinian activists and demonstrators they march towards the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, May 30, 2011 as they marked the first anniversary of a deadly raid by Israel on a Turkish aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip.
Thousands of pro-Palestinian activists and demonstrators they march towards the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, May 30, 2011 as they marked the first anniversary of a deadly raid by Israel on a Turkish aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip.

A long-awaited U.N. panel report on the Israeli raid of a Turkish aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip was leaked Thursday by the New York Times. In it, the panel found that Israel used excessive and unreasonable force during its raid of the Mavi Marmara last year, but concluded that the naval blockade of Gaza is legal under international law.

The New York Times posted a copy of the 105-page confidential report on its website ahead of its expected release Friday.

The panel, headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, as well as member from both Turkey and Israel, found that Israeli commandos who boarded the Turkish flagged vessel Mavi Marmara in international waters on May 31, 2010, “without warning or consent” used “substantial force” against the activists on board.

The panel says the action of the Israeli commandos “seems to us to have been too heavy a response too quickly” and “it was an excessive reaction to the situation.” They conclude that “the operation should have been better planned and differently executed.”

The flotilla of six ships carrying 600 pro-Palestinian activists set out to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza and deliver medical, educational and construction materials to the Palestinian territory. But the mission turned deadly when Israeli commandos boarded the main ship and nine passengers were killed in the ensuing chaos. The report notes that seven of the dead suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

The Palmer panel found that Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip does not violate international law and that its forces had the right to stop the ships in international waters in order to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

Turkey had argued that the naval blockade was illegal and that Israel had no right to stop the ships in international waters.

U.N. Deputy Spokesman Eduardo del Buey said he could not comment on a leaked report and added that the Secretary-General has yet to receive or read the document. The Israeli U.N. mission said it had no immediate comment, while a call to the Turkish U.N. mission was not immediately returned.

Relations between Israel and Turkey, once very close, became very strained over the incident, with Ankara recalling its ambassador to Tel Aviv.

The two countries have been negotiating about some type of apology from Israel and over compensation for the victims, but have been unable to agree. The U.N. panel did recommend that Israel should express regret and compensate the victims.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More