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Turkey Tries IDF Commanders in Absentia

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He, Palmer, and two other Ban appointees absolved Israel of cold-blooded murder.

Under Fourth Geneva's Article 146, each High Contracting Party is "under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts."

Key also is Fourth Geneva's Article 33. It prohibits collective punishment. Gaza's blockade is illegal. It violates Fourth Geneva and other international law. 

Isolating Gaza is a war crime. Prosecutions are warranted. High Contracting parties are obligated to enforce binding laws. Failure means complicity.

Last May, Turkey issued arrest warrants for four former IDF officers. Named were Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, military intelligence head Amos Yadlin, naval commander Eliezer Marom, and air force intelligence head Avishai Levi.

Charges include voluntary manslaughter, attempted voluntary manslaughter, intentional injury, incitement to assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, abduction or confiscation of maritime vessels, property damage, false arrest, and mistreatment of prisoners.

The indictment included hundreds of testimonies from Mavi Marmara passengers and relatives of those on board killed and abused. 

Israeli commanders were accused of ordering the massacre. On November 5, Haaretz carried a Reuters report headlined "Turkey indicts IDF commanders over Gaza flotilla deaths."

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On November 6 in Istanbul, four ex-IDF commanders went on trial in absentia for murder and related crimes. Doing so is largely symbolic. Strained Turkish/Israeli relations won't be helped. 

Israel called Ankara's action a "show trial" and "political theater. A Foreign Ministry statement said proceedings have "nothing to do with either law or justice." 

(It doesn't) qualify under any facet or foundation of a lawful judicial system, and is merely a propaganda display. It would be in Turkey's interest to deal with this issue through bilateral dialogue."

Israel holds itself above the law. It believes it's entitled to kill, torture, abuse, intimidate, harass, and humiliate with impunity. 

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For months, Ankara demanded a formal apology and restitution for families of victims. Israel offered inadequate compensation. It refused to apologize. It never says it's sorry. 

Relations became strained. Diplomatic ties were downgraded. Israel's ambassador was expelled. Military agreements were suspended.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry declined comment on Israeli remarks. Its judiciary is handling the incident, it said.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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