Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, said, Tuesday, "It is the Turkish government which needs to be tried for the deaths of the Islamic terrorists on the Mavi Marmara and not IDF officials." She was responding to the start of the in-absentia trial in Istanbul of four former Israeli military commanders over their role in the 2010 death of nine Turkish citizens who attacked Israeli commandos who boarded the Turkish ship as it tried to break the naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Darshan-Leitner explained, "The Turkish leader [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan was the one who allowed these extremists from Al Qaeda, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to launch a naval expedition against Israel, a country that Turkey was not at war with. The United Nations has investigated the Israeli coastal blockade of Gaza and has determined that it was in full compliance with international law. The flotilla, which was provided material support by the Turkish government, was a provocation designed to endanger the lives of Israeli sailors tasked with enforcing the lawful blockade. As such, officials in Istanbul and their role in this act of war against a non belligerent nation needs to be investigated. Erdogan must be tried for his liability over the deaths of the terrorists and the serious injuries to Israeli servicemen."