Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed his pleasure Sunday with the report published by the Turkel Committee regarding the IDF raid on the Turkish pro-terror flotilla on May 31. Barak said that the report's conclusions prove that Israel is "a law-abiding state" that respects international norms.
"The IDF and the security establishment will study the report in depth and learn the proper lessons," Barak said. He expressed pleasure with the committee's conclusion that the IDF's soldiers and commanders behaved professionally in the operation against the Mavi Marmara.
"The closure on Gaza is solely a maritime security closure," he added, "and its enforcement, including in international waters, is justified and legal. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Goods flow into Gaza
on a regular basis. Hamas is a terrorist organization that is getting stronger all the time and holding an Israeli soldier captive in contravention of all international treaties. Israel, therefore, has the natural right to inspect every cargo
that enters Gaza."
"The Gaza flotilla was a provocation that had nothing to do with humanitarian assistance," Barak stated.
The IDF has also received the report of the Turkel committee and its findings are now being reviewed. "The conclusions and findings of the report will be taken into consideration in line with all operational and legal aspects and appropriate findings will be implemented," the military stated.
"It must be stated that prior to this report, the IDF conducted comprehensive operational investigations in the various forces, branches and directorates," The IDF added. "In addition, a senior team headed by Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, was appointed to investigate the incident and has already published the findings and conclusions."
The IDF emphasized that the Gaza Strip is still a terror zone, "managed and run by Hamas which places its resources in arming itself with the assistance of the extremist regime in Iran. The Southern Israeli Communities still face rockets fired from the Gaza Strip on a daily basis."