MKs Push for Netanyahu Aide to Testify on Flotilla Debacle

Members of foreign affairs and defense committees say Yohanan Loker must explain why IDF and Defense Ministry official took no part in decisions o nGaza flotilla raid.

Members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee are demanding that the prime minister's military secretary, Maj. Gen. Yohanan Loker, explain the handling of events leading up to the takeover of the Gaza-bound flotilla nearly three weeks ago.

Gaza flotilla

MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor ), Yohanan Plesner (Kadima ) and Aryeh Eldad (National Union ) sent a letter to the committee's chairman, MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima ), asking that Loker be summoned to explain why officials from the Israel Defense Forces and the Defense Ministry did not take part in the National Security Council's deliberations beforehand.

Their absence is an apparent violation of the National Security Council Law, which was shaped by lessons drawn from the Second Lebanon War.

But Hanegbi, a sponsor of the National Security Council Law, said yesterday he would not permit Loker to be summoned. He asked that questions on the matter be posed directly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to attend the committee's session on Monday.

The conduct of the National Security Council is expected to be one of the matters State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss examines regarding the flotilla incident.