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Gaza Flotilla Investigation 'to Absolve Israeli Troops of Blame'
The Israeli probe into the naval raid on ships bringing aid to Gaza is expected to absolve the troops of blame and clear them of war crimes, according to reports.
The findings, to be released on Sunday, were adopted unanimously, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Nine Turkish activists were killed in clashes when Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara ship in international waters in the Mediterranean last May.
The three-member panel, headed by retired Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel, heard testimony from high-ranking Israeli officials including Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, Ehud Barak, the defence minister, and outgoing army chief of staff Ltn Gen Gabi Ashkenazi. Soldiers who participated in the raid were not authorised to testify.
David Trimble, the former Northern Ireland first minister, one of the two non-voting foreign observers on the commision, said the panel members "were determined that the inquiry be rigorous."
In July a separate Israeli military investigation concluded that intelligence and operational errors occurred in the interception of the flotilla.
The United Nations set up its own investigation into the raid, with Israeli and Turkish participation.
In a separate development Thursday, Israeli troops killed an armed Palestinian who approached a military post near the West Bank town of Jenin.
The army said the soldiers opened fire when the man fired a gun after refusing soldiers' orders to stop.