ICC prosecutors to review decision on Mavi Marmara raid

ICC judges rule prosecutors to reconsider their decision not to investigate attack by Israeli armed forces on Mavi Marmara aid flotilla

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have asked prosecutors for revisal of their decision not to investigate the attack by the Israeli armed forces on the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara aid flotilla sailed to break the blockade over Gaza in 2010.

The Hague-based ICC opened a preliminary investigation in May 2013 against Israel. In November 2014, the court stopped investigation, saying the case “would not be of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the ICC."

Nine Turkish activists died on board the flotilla and 30 others were injured. One of the injured activists died four years later as a result of the injuries received on board the flotilla.

On Thursday, the ICC ruled that prosecutors should review the decision that they had reached last year.

Thursday’s ruling was condemned by Israel, saying that the ICC’s true purpose was to investigate “mass atrocities.”

"It is not clear why the court insists on using its resources to deal with unnecessary, cynical and politically-motivated complaints," said the spokesman for Israeli Foreign Ministry, Emmanuel Nahshon.

Turkey is not a member of the ICC, nor Israel, but one of the aid ships on the flotilla was registered in Comoros, which let the court start an investigation.

The relations between Turkey and Israel have been slowing down since 2009, when then prime minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chided down Israel’s then president Shimon Peres at World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

The relations got even worse when Israeli soldiers raided on Mavi Marmara which sailed to break the blockade over Gaza, which led to the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in September 2011.

During the United States President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel in March 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Erdogan and apologised him for the civilian deaths during the Israeli naval raid.

Though relations between the two countries seemed to be warming up several months ago, with talk of an official Israeli apology and a reported agreement to pay reparations to the victims of the Marmara incident, ties took a turn for the worse following the recent conflagration in Gaza, over the course of Operation Protective Edge.

During the Israeli offensive on Gaza, at least 2,160 Palestinians killed, mostly civilians including dozens of children, and some 11,000 injured, according to data by the United Nations and Palestinian officials.

At least 73 Israelis – 68 soldiers and five civilians – were also killed during the seven-week conflict.

TRTWorld and agencies