A Turkish court issued arrest warrants on Monday for four former Israeli military commanders who are on trial in absentia over the 2010 killing of nine Turks on a Gaza-bound aid ship, Turkish media reports said.
The move came after recent reports Turkey and Israel were close to an agreement that would end a diplomatic crisis triggered by the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship challenging Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in 2010.
Eight Turks and a Turkish-American died during the operation when a mob aboard the ship attacked an IDF boarding party, and a Turkish man, Suleyman Ugur Soylemez, died in the hospital on Friday night after four years in a coma since the incident.
The court ordered the arrest of former Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, ex-Navy Commander Eliezer Marom, ex-Air Force Commander Amos Yadlin and former head of Air Force intelligence Avishay Levi, the newspaper Hurriyet said. Turkish prosecutors have already sought multiple life sentences for the now-retired Israeli officers over their involvement in the Mavi Marmara case.
Although the indictment was handed down in 2012, no arrest warrants were issued then. The court said on Monday it would seek the issue of Interpol ‘red notices’ for the arrest of the four former generals.