Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the elected Palestinian government in Gaza, has called on the international community to read Israel's report on the Mavi Marmara attack carefully before prosecuting the government officials responsible.
The report, which has been published by Micha Lindenstrauss, Comptroller of the State of Israel, says that the decision-making process led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the assault on and capture of the Turkish-flagged ship in 2010 was marred by substantial defects. The Comptroller's report holds Netanyahu and his Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, accountable for what happened but acquits the Military Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, as he opposed taking hasty action.
Haniyeh was speaking to reporters during the opening ceremony of new units at the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Younis on Wednesday.
"The Israeli report about the attack on the Mavi Marmara is clear evidence that what was committed by its soldiers is a 'humanitarian crime'," said the Prime Minister. He insisted that Israel must respond to the Turkish government's demands concerning the rights of those killed by the commandos and compensation for their families as well as lifting the siege on Gaza.
The new units opened by the Prime Minister at the European Gaza Hospital include facilities for open-heart surgery, neurosurgery and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scans).
Mr. Haniyeh thanked the Islamic Development Bank, the Qatari Red Crescent and all who have contributed to improving the health situation in the Gaza Strip. He took the opportunity to praise the supporters who are visiting Gaza with the Miles of Smiles 13 humanitarian convoy, not least those participants who flew from New Zealand to take part, a journey of more than 27 hours flying time.