International Criminal Court to Investigate Gaza Flotilla Killings

International Criminal Court to Investigate Gaza Flotilla Killings | Probe began at behest of Comoros

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced a preliminary investigation into the May 2010 Israeli military attack on the Gaza-bound aid ship the Mavi Marmara, an attack which killed nine civilians, including eight Turkish aid workers and one American.

The investigation at the moment is fairly basic, simply an effort to see if the criteria exist for a more thorough investigation, which has been requested by Comoros, the island nation the Mavi Marmara was registered in.

A 2011 UN inquiry found Israeli troops used “excessive and unreasonable force,” but insisted the blockade Israel used to justify the attack on the high seas was in keeping with international law.

Israel has had a long internal struggle coming to grips with the killings, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally apologized for in March. Other members of his government blasted the apology, claiming the aid workers had it coming and that Turkey owed Israel an apology for making them go to the trouble of killing them.

The ICC was not immediately allowed to get involved with the incident because Israel is not a party to the court system, but after the request of Comoros is acquired jurisdiction over the case.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • mojo

    While at it.., don't forget to investigate the illegality of George w. Bush regime into Iraq war.., don't forget the Hillary Clinton-Obama administration illegality in supporting terrorists in Syria.., supporting the illegitimate kingdom created and supported by USA and EU.., don't forget to investigate the Qatari kingdoms killing of demonstrators going on for over two years. Ohhhh, before I forget.., what about other crime against humanity committed by Israeli government for last 60 years…?

  • Loraine

    I have never seen a more arrogant nation than Israel, and especially Netanyahu,

  • Augustbrhm

    You starve a people for voting the democratic way murder civilians on the high seas trying to ease the starvation then blame the ones you have murdered,and america will agree even offering up to date weapons to murder more efectively.

  • David

    Terrorists hiding behind left wing protesters running a legal blockade (legal as stated by the UN), were fired on after ignoring multiple warnings to turn back. They then attached Israeli soldiers who were carrying non lethal paint guns and holstered side arms as they boarded ship with Iron bars prepared in advance of running the blockade. Gaza has a border with Egypt. What happened there?

  • "Terrorists"

    Have any of the Mavi Marmara's passengers ever been charged with, let alone convicted of, crimes defined as terrorism, either prior to or since the raid?

    "a legal blockade (legal as stated by the UN)"

    Nice try. One UN panel's report (the Palmer Report) held the blockade legal while simultaneously noting "the Panel cannot make definitive findings either of fact or law. But it can give its view." That same panel and same report also found that the "decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable."

    That's one UN panel's report.

    The UN Human Rights Council has condemned the blockade no less than 15 times.

    United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard A. Falk has publicly described the blockade as a crime against humanity.

    U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay has publicly described the blockade as a violation of the laws of war.

    A UN fact-finding mission's report (The Goldstone Report) described the blockade as a crime against humanity and recommended referral of it to the International Criminal Court if it was not lifted.

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs states that "restrictions imposed on the civilian population by the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip amount to collective punishment, a violation of international humanitarian law."

    So, however nice the try, no cigar on getting legality for the blockade out of the UN. But of course, the legality or illegality of the blockade is irrelevant, because:

    "were fired on after ignoring multiple warnings to turn back. They then attached Israeli soldiers who"

    … had fired on them, and then boarded them, in international waters, in violation of international law.

    The Mavi Marmara had not yet attempted to run the blockade when it was attacked, by pirates, and nine of its passengers murdered. Whether or not they resisted the pirates is immaterial, except to the extent that murdering them when they were not resisting might be considered an aggravation of the offense.