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Issue #1630      March 12, 2014

Hague to consider Israel prosecution

The International Criminal Court at The Hague received a formal request last week for the prosecution of Israel over the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010.

Nine aid workers died on the Mavi Marmara – which was part of a six-ship aid flotilla – when Israeli troops forcibly boarded the vessel in May of that year.

The request is the first attempt by a recognised state to pursue the prosecution of Israel in the international court and was formally submitted by the Comoros Islands.

The court recognised the Turkey-based Human Relief Foundation as a victim of the outrage.

The foundation was the lead organisation of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla project which intended to travel to Gaza to offer relief to Palestinian victims of the Israeli blockade.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli armed forces carried out an armed attack in international waters against the flotilla, resulting in the death of nine volunteers on board the Mavi Marmara.

Scores more were seriously injured, tortured and unlawfully detained in Israeli prisons. Turkey and Israel have been negotiating a compensation deal for over a year without success.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ruled out any reconciliation with Israel “until the end of the siege on Gaza”, a condition of the settlement that Israel has flatly refused to accept.

Israel offered to pay US$20 million in compensation to the families of the nine victims and Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had authorised up to US$23 million to secure an agreement.

Morning Star

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