Turkel Panel to Report on Legality of Raid, Commandos' Performance

Turkel panel is expected to issue its report on the flotilla raid in late November or early December.

The Turkel committee examining the May 31 naval raid on a flotilla aimed at breaking Israel's blockade of Gaza is expected to issue its report in late November or early December. The panel, which is chaired by retired Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel, is thought to be focusing on a small number of issues only. Chief among these are the legality of Israel's actions and the performance of the naval commandos who intercepted the Mavi Marmara.

The publication of a second report, dealing with additional subjects, has not been ruled out.

The committee has already interviewed most of the high-ranking figures involved in the incident, and its members have reviewed the report of the Israel Defense Forces internal inquiry, headed by Giora Eiland.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi will return to the committee on Sunday after members accepted his offer to be interviewed again in light of his opposition to summoning other senior officers to testify before the panel.

Heavy international pressure on Israel is thought to be behind the efforts to issue the committee's findings, whether partial or final, quickly. Jerusalem has come under heavy criticism in Europe and the United Nations for the raid, in which nine Turkish citizens were killed.