Israel PM praises troops who raided Gaza flotilla

“You responded professionally, heroically, with restraint and ethically.” — Netanyahu

Amy Teibel
Associated Press

ATLIT, Israel — Israel’s leader praised on Tuesday the naval commandos who participated in a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last May that drew international condemnation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on a special visit to a military base, told the men they acted “heroically” and “ethically” in an attempt to stop “people who sought to kill you.”

The commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists from Turkey in the May 31 raid, which worsened already strained ties with Turkey and ultimately forced Israel to ease its land blockade of Gaza imposed after Iranian-backed Hamas seized control of the Palestinian territory in 2007.

A naval blockade remains intact – a measure Israel says is needed to prevent arms from reaching Gaza’s Hamas rulers – and subsequent efforts to break it have been quashed without violence.

The May raid turned deadly when commandos rappelled onto the lead ship of the flotilla and were attacked by activists as they came down from helicopters. The commandos armed with paint guns and pistols opened fire in response to the assault.

“Gaza has become an Iranian terror base – very close and very dangerous,” Netanyahu told the fighters at their base in this seaside northern town. The raid was “vital, imperative, important and legal,” he added.

Facing a deadly threat, “you responded professionally, heroically, with restraint and ethically.” Read Full Article

Did they really behave ethically?

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