According to a report released by the UN Human Rights Council, Israel's military broke international laws during a raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31. Eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American were killed, while 30 activists from different countries were injured after Israeli commandoes boarded the Mavi Marmara, sailing in international waters as part of a six-ship convoy. The convoy's passengers were detained and later deported by Israel.
The 56-page report said: "There is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: wilful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health". It further stated: “The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence.” The Convention is an international treaty governing the protection of civilians in times of war.
The panel was chaired by Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and included Desmond de Silva, a former chief prosecutor of the Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal, and Shanthi Dairiam, a Malaysian human rights law expert.
Israel dismissed the report as "as biased and as one-sided as the body that has produced it". Meanwhile, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated "It is s extremely fair and based on solid evidence,” adding “Our goal is not to cause a political crisis, but to ensure that everyone respects international law and believes that no country is above the law.”
A separate UN inquiry - ordered by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon - into the raid is ongoing. Israel and Turkey are co-operating with the investigation.