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Israel report: deficiency in decision making process during flotilla raid

Israel's Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss [official website, in Hebrew] released a report [material, in Hebrew] on Wednesday that criticized the way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [official website] handled the May 2010 flotilla incident [JURIST news archive]. In the 153-page report, Lindenstrauss stressed that there were "significant shortcomings" [Al Jazeera report] in the decision making process. Despite warnings about the potential of possible violence through Israel's attempt to enforce the Gaza blockade [BBC backgrounder], Netanyahu proceeded with the raid, according to the report. Another deficiency in the decision making process was that the prime minister did not commence an orderly, formal and documenting work team but rather engaged in personal, separate and undocumented meetings with the defense minister and the foreign minister. The report also revealed that no other meetings between the prime minister and any group of ministers took place. The prime minister's office responded [press release] Thursday on the report that criticized the prime minister who leads a coalition that controls three-fourths of parliament's seats. The response merely reiterated the UN panel's findings [JURIST report] that the flotilla incident was a legitimate self defense and that Israel's action to intercept the Turkish ships was legal under international laws.

A similar finding of insufficient intelligence and planning in the flotilla incident had been made in July 2010 when an Israeli military probe concluded [JURIST report] that the Israeli Navy failed to sufficiently consider the possibility that its troops could encounter violent resistance. Numerous investigations into the flotilla raid have been conducted since the incident took place. The UN panel's report was released in early September 2011 finding that Israel had used excessive force during the flotilla incident but the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip was lawful. However, few weeks later after conducting numerous interviews with eye-witnesses and viewing other evidence, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] found [JURIST report] that Israel violated several international laws including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Fourth Geneva Convention [texts]. Israel has responded to the report by calling it "biased, politicized and extremist." A month earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry [official website] had announced that it will investigate on its own to the incident and report the results to the UN panel that was appointed [JURIST reports] by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website].

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