Lawyers for Gaza-bound flotilla raid victims to appeal ICC decision
Families of those martyred by Israeli forces aboard an aid flotilla heading for the besieged Gaza Strip in 2010 will appeal the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s decision not to press charges against Tel Aviv.
According to Press TV, their lawyers announced the news on Thursday, three days after ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said there was “no reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.”
In a statement, lawyers said that the decision showed that the “intent is to safeguard Israel -- so blatantly and flagrantly right under the international community's nose -- against any indictments of war crimes.”
Bensouda’s decision was made three months after the tribunal’s judges in The Hague ordered her for a second time to reconsider her earlier refusals and to launch an investigation into the case.
On May 31, 2010, Israeli naval commandos, from speedboats and helicopters, attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla comprising six civilian ships in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, martyring nine Turkish citizens, including a teenager with dual Turkish-US citizenship, on board the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara.
A 10th Turkish national later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in 2014. The Israeli attack also wounded some 50 other people on board the ship.
The flotilla was trying to reach the Gaza Strip and deliver desperately-needed humanitarian aid to the inhabitants of the blockaded sliver.
Israel’s military raid against the civilian flotilla was met with global condemnation. The United Nations Security Council at the time called for a prompt investigation into the incident and the UN Human Rights Council described the attack as “outrageous.”
A large number of human rights groups also strongly slammed the raid, while dozens of protests were held in support of the victims’ cause in several countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Sweden.