x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Israeli report: military made mistakes 'at senior levels' in flotilla raid

The Israeli military made "mistakes at fairly senior levels" in its preparations for a raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that turned deadly over a month ago, according to findings from an army probe released today.

TEL AVIV // The Israeli military made "mistakes at fairly senior levels" in its preparations for a raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that turned deadly over a month ago, according to findings from an army probe that were released today. The first official Israeli report on the attack found there were failures in intelligence-gathering and planning ahead of the military operation on May 31 that killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American, said Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli general who led the army's investigation. The report criticised the military's intelligence division for underestimating the potential for a violent confrontation with the ship's passengers, especially those who are members of an Istanbul-based Islamic charity group whom Israel has accused of being extremists.

Mr Eiland said more information should have been gathered about the group, called Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, or IHH, because of the support he claimed it drew from Turkey's ruling party and against the background of worsening Israel-Turkey relations. The incident had sparked an international outcry and spurred a serious breach of ties between Israel and Turkey, its once-close Muslim ally. foreign.desk@thenational.ae