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Former Military Intelligence Head Says Marmara Raid 'A Mistake'

Head of Military Intelligence during 2010 Mavi Marmara raid declares move "mistake"; claims "both Turkey and Israel have made mistakes".
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 11/6/2013, 7:10 PM

Mavi Marmara
Mavi Marmara
AFP photo

Amos Yadlin, the Director of Military Intelligence during the 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish flotilla which intentionally set sail as part of an campaign to violate the legal, UN-approved Israeli naval blockade on Gaza, has reportedly admitted that the decision was "a mistake." 

In an interview with Turkish media sources, Yadlin condemned the move, which spawned an international fiasco and sobered relations between Israel and Turkey. The two countries had remained on relatively good diplomatic terms until then, a relationship which has never fully recovered. 

IDF Radio reports that Yadlin claims in the interview that "both Turkey and Israel have made mistakes" since the incident, and wishes that the incident "had never happened." Yadlin also added that a similar experience "would never happen today." 

Despite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's public apology to Turkish officials for the incident, which was spurred by intense pressure from the US, tensions between the two country continue - most recently illustrated in last month's furore over allegations that Turkey handed information on an Israeli spy ring in Tehran over to Iranian officials. 

Yadlin was one of the IDF officials tried in absentia in Turkish courts following his involvement in the raid, along with former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

Controversy around the exact events of the IDF's detainment of the flotilla, who was present, and demands for restitution have been endless, despite over three years passing in the interim. Just this month, an "activist" allegedly aboard the Marmara made a number of public accusations against the IDF's role, claiming that a helicopter had been shooting at the passengers while the IDF towed the ship to port.