ICC prosecutor ordered to re-investigate 'Mavi Marmara' incident
Free Gaza Movement/AFP/File
The International Criminal Court on Thursday ordered its Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to reconsider her earlier decision not to investigate Israel for allegations of war crimes committed during the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident.
The decision, which was passed by 2-1, harshly criticized Bensouda for closing the file which saw 10 Turkish activists die on the flotilla which aimed to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza boarded by Israeli commandos.
The African country of Comoros in January filed a request for the ICC seeking to overturn Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's refusal to launch a probe into Israel's raid. One of the ships in the flotilla was sailing under a Comoros flag.
The ICC told Bensouda that she should have taken the possibility into consideration that those killed by the IDF in the boarding, lost their lives in a "deliberate plan or policy to attack, kill or injure civilians." As well, the ICC added in their ruling that that she made "material errors in her determination of the gravity" of the case.
Israel in response, released a statement strongly condemning the ICC's decision to re-open the Mavi Marmara case.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely stated the ICC decision was part of a campaign of "Palestinian incitement," Israeli daily Ynet reported Thursday.
"It’s very puzzling to me why the International Criminal Court would decide to open a probe into soldiers who defended themselves against brutal attacks by terrorists aboard the Marmara," she said, adding that "there are Palestinian actors who are trying all the time to incite international bodies against Israel. I hope those same bodies will be able to identify the incitement and not help it along."
In May 2010 nine Turkish citizens were killed after Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla that was attempting to reach Gaza. An Israeli inquiry found that the soldiers opened fire after the activists aboard the ship attempted to attack them with knives and metal rods.
Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza in 2006 after militants there seized an Israeli soldier, who was eventually freed in 2011 in a trade for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Cairo has also maintained a blockade on the Strip.
The blockade was strengthened in 2007, when the Islamist Hamas movement took control of Gaza, then eased somewhat following an international outcry over the killing of the Turkish activists.
A Turkish court in May ordered the arrest of four former Israeli military chiefs over the raid as part of an ongoing trial in absentia brought by aid group IHH and the victims' families in 2012.
The assault sparked widespread condemnation and provoked a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador, demanded a formal apology and compensation and an end to the blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas.
An Israeli probe found that the raid did not violate international law, in a conclusion which Turkey said lacked credibility.
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"Mavi Marmara Passengers Attack IDF Soldiers with Metal Rods" That would be because they were being boarded in International waters by a group of fully armed pirates who had fired weapons onto the ship before descending. They were 'defending' the ship. Israel is well acquainted with the word 'defence' ... it uses it to justify it's regular mass murders.
The so called flotilla was in breach of international maritime law (regardless whether in international waters or not). Israel gave the captain plenty opportunity to change course, but was met with expletives over communications radio. The IDF only went aboard when it was clear the boat wasn't changing course. The "weapons" fired pre-boarding were stun grenades - loud yes, lethal? Not in the slightest! Protestors onboard resisted and paid the consequences for their stupidity.
Neil Gordon, James Spackman ... for your enlightenment ... www dot securitycouncilreport dot org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/IP%20A%20HRC%2015%2021 dot pdf
Amongst the items confiscated and not returned by the Israeli authorities is a large amount of video and photographic footage that was recorded on electronic and other media by passengers, including many professional journalists, on board the vessels of the flotilla. This includes a large number of photographic and video material of the Israeli assault and interception on the Mavi Marmara and other vessels.
Michael Farmer, Google maritime law during armed conflict.
Also footage released that was taken from mobile phones and cctv show the passengers readying themselves for a fight before any Israeli armed forces boarded. Peaceful flotilla indeed...
The silence is deafening, cats got his tongue again..faced with facts muslims who post on here are suddenly quiet.
Hi, James ... silence? Here I am 'Breaking the Silence' ..whoops, sorry! ;-) The blockade was ruled legal, ye. However the methods that Israel used to enforce it were not. Excerpt from the conclusions of the Palmer report. 264. The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence. It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted a grave violation of human rights law and international humanitarian law. 265. The Mission considers that several violations and offences have been committed. It is not satisfied that, in the time available, it has been able to compile a comprehensive list of all offences. However, there is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: • Wilful killing; • Torture or inhuman treatment; • Wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health. Given the bad name that Israeli forces have for eccessive force it is perfectly understandable that to be entirely defenceless when the heavily armed forces boarded was not to be advised. Remember, too, that Israel 'fired the first shots' by shooting from the helicopter above the deck prior to any engagement. The full report is here - www dot securitycouncilreport dot org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/IP%20A%20HRC%2015%2021 dot pdf