New York, NY, January 23, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the release of a report by an independent panel of inquiry into an Israel Defense Forces raid on a Gaza-bound ship last May, saying the report "shows Israel's commitment to transparency and military accountability" and vindicates Israel's actions in self-defense as it stopped the flotilla from reaching Gaza.
The Turkel Commission, an independent body established in Israel to investigate and assess the events during the May 31, 2010 operation, found that the Gaza blockade and the use of force during the IDF operation were legal under international law.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We welcome the release of the Turkel commission's first report on the Gaza flotilla incident. The report fully and completely upholds the legality of the decision taken by the Israeli government to establish the naval blockade of Gaza and vindicates Israel's actions in self-defense as it stopped the flotilla. The report says the use of force by the IDF in response to the violence they encountered after boarding one of the ships trying to cross the blockade was appropriate.
This was an open, thorough and highly professional investigation led by an Israeli jurist and included the participation of two independent international observers. The Israeli government and the IDF took the investigation seriously and offered their full cooperation, showing Israel's commitment to transparency and military accountability under the law.
The findings of the Turkel Commission are consistent with the value the Israeli army places on human life and on acting within the bounds of international law. Both the process and the outcome of the commission's exhaustive investigation highlight the vibrancy of Israeli democracy and underscore the deeply held values of justice and fairness in Israeli society.