Turks Refuse to Drop Charges Against IDF Officers

ISTANBUL (Reuters) -

Israel’s apology to Turkey over the 2010 killing of nine Turks aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship did not go far enough and Israeli soldiers will be pursued in court, survivors of the incident said on Monday.

As part of the agreement on compensation, Israel wants lawsuits against its soldiers to be dropped.

“We will continue with the criminal lawsuits we have opened against the Israeli soldiers and commanders, and we won’t accept dropping this suit if compensation is paid,” said Musa Cogas, who was wounded by Israeli gunfire on board the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla trying to run the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

An Istanbul court is hearing charges that have been filed against four of Israel’s most senior retired commanders, including the ex-army chief, in absentia and could carry life sentences. Israel has dismissed this as a politically motivated “show trial.”

Ahmet Varol, a journalist who was on the Mavi Marmara, said one “formula for a resolution” would be for Israel to provide a timetable for ending the blockade of Gaza, ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement, and make Turkey a monitor of that process.

Israel has said that lifting the blockade was not part of any agreement with the Turks.