US praises Gaza flotilla inquiry

By Simon Griver, January 27, 2011

The Turkel Commission has concluded that the IDF acted in self-defence over the killings of nine Turkish activists when boarding the Marmara ship last May off the coast of Israel.

The Marmara was part of a flotilla transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza, but the members of the commission found that the dead activists carried knives. In addition, its report stressed that "during the searches conducted on the Mavi Marmara, no humanitarian supplies were found".

The Israeli government-appointed commission was an independent inquiry headed by Supreme Court Judge Jacob Turkel and included former Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble and former Canadian Advocate General Judge Ken Watkin.

The US State Department said of the report: "This is an independent, credible, impartial and transparent investigation that has been undertaken by Israel."

However, the report will make little impact compared with the international furore which followed the boarding of the Marmara and the global wave of anti-Israel protests and anti-Jewish hate crimes which came in its wake.

The report was dismissed in Turkey where Prime Minister Recep Erdogan described it as having "no validity or credibility".

Last updated: 3:36pm, January 27 2011