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Turkish court orders arrest of Israeli commanders involved in 2010 Gaza flotilla raid

[JURIST] A Turkish court on Monday called for international arrest warrants for four former Israeli military chiefs involved in a deadly 2010 maritime raid [UN report, PDF]. According to a lawyer working on the case, prosecutors are seeking life sentences [AFP report] for the commanders who they claim were responsible for Israeli commandos boarding the Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla dispatched to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza strip, and killing nine unarmed Turkish activists. The ruling is the latest development in the ongoing trial in absentia of the commanders which began in 2012 when Turkish relief agency IHH and the victims' families brought charges against them.

The International Criminal Court [official website] announced [JURIST report] in May 2013 that they would conduct a preliminary examination into the flotilla raid in response to a request from authorities of the Union of Comoros. A Turkish court opened [JURIST report] the trial in absentia of the Israeli military commanders in November 2012, despite Israel's criticism of the proceedings. The court unanimously approved the criminal indictment [JURIST report] of the commanders in May 2012. In June 2011 Israel threatened [JURIST report] deportation and a 10-year ban from the country for any foreign journalists found aboard the aid flotilla.

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