AN Israeli inquiry has ruled the country’s raid on an aid ship which left nine people dead was legal.
Honley’s Paveen Yaqub was on board the Mavi Marmara when commandos stormed the boat last May, killing nine Turks.
The ship had been on its way to Gaza as part of an aid convoy aimed at breaching the Israeli blockade of the coastal territory.
The Turkel Committee, set up to investigate the incident, published its 300-page report yesterday.
The committee, made up of five Israelis and two international observers, concluded that the country’s armed forces had acted legally when they boarded the Mavi Marmara in international waters on May 31 last year.
Israel says its commandos used live rounds only after being attacked with clubs, knives and guns.
But activists on board the Turkish-owned boat say the troops started shooting as soon as they boarded the vessel.
The Turkel Committee found there had been “regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries.”
However, the committee concluded “the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law.”
The report did criticise the planning of the raid, saying the commandos “were placed in a situation they were not completely prepared for and had not anticipated.”
Sarah Colborne, who was on board the Mavi Marmara when the raid happened last year, slammed the report yesterday.
The director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “However hard the Israeli government attempt to rewrite history, they can’t rewrite the truth.
“The facts are simple, the Mavi Marmara was carrying essential humanitarian aid like baby milk to the besieged people of Gaza.Š
“There were no guns or weapons on board the boat and we were in international waters when more than 300 bullets – or one for every two people on board – rained down on us, killing nine people and injuring more than 50.
“The actions of the Israeli Defence Force and the Israeli government were, by all international standards of law, illegal – as is their continued occupation of Gaza and the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Paveen Yaqub from Honley was one of the 600 activists on board the Mavi Marmara when it was raided.
Her friend Furkan Dogan, 19, was the youngest of the nine people who were killed.
An independent inquiry found that Furkan had been shot in the face, back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back from less than 45cm away.