US defends Israeli flotilla attack 25Jan11 January 26, 2011
The praise came after an Israeli investigation panel declared Tel Aviv’s military attack on the Freedom Flotilla as “legal” under international law, Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported.
The panel also claimed that the Israeli soldiers who took part in the killing of the nine activists acted in self-defense.
The activists aboard the aid convoy, which was attacked in international waters, were unarmed and only planned to deliver aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip.
“We think that this is an independent report, credible and impartial and transparent investigation that has been undertaken by Israel,” US State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said on Monday.
This is while an independent Turkish committee investigating the incident concluded on Sunday that “the Israeli Army used excessive force against the Mavi Marmara [the lead ship of the six-vessel fleet].â
Israeli commandos attacked the convoy in international waters on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring about 50 others.
The Israeli assault on the aid convoy provoked an international outcry, prompting Knesset members to set up a commission to investigate the legality of the raid as well as Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Responding to the Israeli report, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the report had “no value or credibility,” with the Turkish Foreign Ministry issuing a statement saying it was “appalled and dismayed” at the Israeli investigative committee’s finding.