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February 14, 2014 – Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center), called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stand firm in defense of IDF soldiers who fought for their lives in the 2010 Mavi Marmara Flotilla incident, and to cancel the agreements to “compensate” the terrorists’ families.
In the incident, a flotilla of ships from Turkey attempted to break Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza, controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas. IDF soldiers were left with no choice but to use lethal force and kill nine members of the flotilla after they were ambushed and nearly killed by the weapon-wielding mob.
Speaking about the compensation offer, Leitner remarked “this is an unacceptable offer, you can’t compensate people who started war against you. The Turks sent ships to fight IDF soldiers in Israel’s territorial waters, that’s an act of war. The Turkel Commission checked the matter of the blockade, and found it to be legal.”
“If the Turks send ships they need to take responsibility for the wound; it’s like if Hezbollah starts a war with us, do we need to compensate them? The Supreme Court ruled we don’t need to compensate Palestinians that act to harm us. Therefore here too we must not fold or apologize,” declared Leitner.
While Netanyahu has already apologized to Turkey over the Israeli soldier’s acts to defend their lives, an agreement to pay the killed terrorists’ families $20 million, the talks have hit a snag as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded a written statement saying the “siege” on Gaza has been lifted. Netanyahu has so far rejected the demands.
Leitner concluded by warning the Turkey compensation affairs threatens to set a dangerous precedent. “We risk paving the way for our enemies to raise their heads and sue us. In the Marmara story 500 people took part in a ‘lynch’ on IDF soldiers, and now more will come and demand compensation.”
Last March, Leitner had stinging words for Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey, saying “Israel’s decision to apologize to Turkey is pathetic pandering to an Islamic extremist who compared Zionism to fascism and is still trying to indict Israeli officers for war crimes.”