Israel's prime minister on Monday defended the deadly raid on an international flotilla against the Gaza Strip blockade in opening testimony before an internal inquiry commission. The Israeli leader suggested Turkey had sought the violent confrontation on board. According to the AP, Benjamin Netanyahu told the commission that Ankara had rejected Israel's prior appeals to halt the flotilla and refused to intervene despite the prospect of violence between Israeli soldiers and the Turkish Islamic charity that organized the mission.
"As we got closer to the date it became clear our diplomatic efforts would not stop it," Netanyahu said. "Apparently the government of Turkey did not see potential friction between Turkish activists and Israel as something that goes against its interests."
During his testimony, Netanyahu refrained from answering some security-related questions and promised to do so in a later hearing that was closed to the media. "I am convinced that in the end of your investigation it will be clear that Israel and the Israel Defense Forces acted in accordance with international law," Netanyahu said.