State Comptroller report ‘raps PM over Mavi Marmara failures’

Netanyahu blamed for underestimating the significance of the 2010 flotilla to Gaza

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Activists on the 'Mavi Marmara' preparing to attack IDF soldiers. (IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)
Activists on the 'Mavi Marmara' preparing to attack IDF soldiers. (IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss delivered his report on the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid to the prime minister and a government committee on Wednesday.

The report, handed to both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and MK Roni Bar-On (Kadima), chairman of the Knesset State Control Committee, is believed to criticize the prime minister for his handling of the incident, in which naval commandos were attacked as they sought to take control of the Mavi Marmara ship, and nine Turkish activists were killed when the commandos opened fire.

The daily Maariv said the report finds fault with Netanyhau for not correctly assessing the significance of the flotilla, for not cancelling a trip abroad, and for not sufficiently briefing Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who was left to deal with the incident. It also reportedly includes severe criticism of Israel’s poor international public relations campaign following the botched interception.

Details of the report will not be made public until the committee decides which parts of the document should be censored. The government is expected to push for broadening the censorship while opposition parties will act to reveal as much of the report as possible.

At the time of the flotilla, Netanyahu was on a visit to Canada that he cut short as developments became clear.

During the incident, on May 31, 2010, naval commandos intercepted a flotilla of six ships carrying activists from Turkey who intended to try to break the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza. Five of the ships were boarded without incident, but commandos was drawn into a violent hand-to-hand struggle with activists on the Mavi Marmara. Nine Turkish citizens died and several IDF soldiers were injured.

A second State Comptroller report submitted Wednesday is expected to find that the National Security Council is sometimes kept out of vital defense related decision-making process. The report found that the government did not make use of information provided by the NSC during its preparations for the dealing with the flotilla, Maariv said.

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