Senior Israeli Officials Criticized

Published: June 1st 2010
in News » Israel

Activists shown throwing soldier off ship
Pic: IDF Spokesperson

Monday’s deadly incident on the Marmara ship which was headed for Gaza and raided by the IDF is causing a political storm in Israel.


Yoav Yitzhak of News1 reported that Netanyahu’s aides have pointed a finger at Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for being behind the failed raid on the ship. Yitzhak reported that on Saturday, Lieberman and Barak conducted phone consultations with Netanyahu, during which they pressured him to approve aggressive action against the flotilla participants rather than settle on redirecting the ships to the west. Netanyahu avoided convening the seven ministers who decide on security matters; rather, he updated them on the intent to prevent the flotilla participants from arriving in Gaza.


Yitzhak added that despite receiving warnings that a military operation is highly likely to cause deaths and injuries among the activists, Netanyahu decided to accept Barak and Lieberman’s position and approve the military action, which resulted in the deaths of 9 activists, and the injuries of many others.


Shalom Yerushalmi of NRG Ma’ariv added that Barak arrived at the decision to conduct the military raid on his own, and brought it to Netanyahu for approval. When some of the cabinet ministers requested to be updated on the situation, they were told that “the issue was decided by Netanyahu and Barak, period”.


According to Yerushalmi’s report, several cabinet ministers are now demanding that Barak take responsibility for the consequences of his actions and resign. The anger directed towards Barak by the government, the cabinet and the seven ministers is tremendous. Senior ministers were quoted in NRG as saying: “We cannot leave such a decision only in Barak's hands, especially after the Prime Minister went overseas. You cannot let the Ministry of Defense make decisions with such strategic and international implications. This must not happen again with the next ships scheduled to arrive here.”


IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi visited on Tuesday morning some of the soldiers who were injured during the raid. During his visits with the soldiers at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Ashkenazi asked them for their version of what happened during the operation.


Following the visit, Ashkenazi said the following to NRG: “We came to visit as part of the investigation we are conducting on the operation. I am happy that our warriors are in the Rambam Medical Center, they are in good hands and we will arrive at our conclusions later.”

Related articles: (gaza aid flotilla, raid, benjamin netanyahu, ehud barak, avigdor lieberman)

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