Jerusalem: Israel`s Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya`alon has admitted
that the deadly raid on the Gaza-bound aid ship last week that
left nine people dead was characterised by failure.
"In a place where citations should have been given,
someone failed to prepare a standard operating procedure,"
Ya`alon, a former army Chief of Staff and the acting Prime
Minister on the day of the operation told Council Heads of the
ruling Likud party.
"The decision was right, but there is room for
improvement and I am not going to elaborate," he was quoted
by news portal Ynet as saying.
Ya`alon, who was officiating as the Prime Minister on
the day of the incident because of Benjamin Netanyahu`s
absence in the country, however, praised the troops for their
"The fighting on the deck was heroic and took place
under impossible conditions," he said, adding that "there were
some malfunctions during the planning and operational stages".
"I warned of this before the incident," the minister
Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt Gen.
Gabi Ashkenazi, ordered a formal external inquiry into the
naval raid yesterday.
The probe, meant to derive operational conclusions
from the deadly events which took place aboard the ship Mavi
Marmara, the sail`s lead vessel, will be conducted by a panel
of experts headed by Maj-Gen (ret) Giora Eiland.
Others in the committee include, Brigadier-General
Aviv Kohavi, who once headed the Operations Directorate,
former Chief Intelligence Officer Brig Gen (res) Yuval
Halamish and Colonel (res) Ben Zion Da`abul, who held senior
posts in the Navy and the defence establishment.
The panel is expected to submit its findings by July.