A Turkish court ordered Monday the arrest of four former Israeli army commanders, including the former chief of staff General Gabi Ashkenazi, over their involvement in the 2010 Mavi Marmara bloody raid, which claimed the lives of nine Turkish citizens.
The court order included the arrest of former Naval Forces Commander Eliezer Alfred Marom, former Military Intelligence Chief Major General Amos Yadlin and former Air Forces Intelligence head Brigadier General Avishai Levi. All of the defendants have been tried in absentia.
The court decision stipulated that arresting the defendants is necessary for the proceedings of the case, since they had been tried in absentia and turned down Turkish requests to appear in court.
According to a statement by lawyer Omar Khamaysi, the Turkish Criminal Court requested the Interpol to issue an international red notice to arrest the Israeli officers and hand them over to Turkey to stand trial.
President of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) Bulent Yildrim said during Monday’s hearing that he expects justice to be served, but that the case is still ongoing pending a deal between the Turkish and Israeli governments.
Moreover, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that no final ruling has yet been issued.
The prosecution demanded a life sentence to be handed down by the court against the four officers based on 33 complaints lodged by families of victims. A defense lawyer condemned the alleged deal between Turkey and Israel, demanding that justice be served irrespective of deals.
President of the Islamic Movement in Israel Sheikh Raed Salah attended the hearing in his capacity as one the victims of the Israeli raid on Mavi Marmara.