Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to the Turkel Commission report by saying it showed that the blockade of Gaza, as well as the enforcement of the blockade, was legal.
Netanyahu’s comments came at a ceremony in the Prime Minister’s Office where he was selecting posters for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“This is what happened last May, when Israel enforced a naval blockade to prevent weapons and war material from infiltrating the terror organizations in Gaza.”
“I hope that all those who rushed to judgment against Israel and against its soldiers will read these reports and learn the truth about what happened, The truth is that our soldiers were defending our country and defending their very lives. This is not only their right; it is their duty. The State of Israel stands behind them and thanks them for their courage.”
Noting that the modern State of Israel has the ability denied to survivors in the Holocaust, the Prime Minister said critics today pay lip service to Israel’s right to self-defense.
“They say, ‘Yes, Israel has a right to defend itself’ – but only in theory because when we come in practice to exercise that right, they accuse us of war crimes.”
“This is what they did when we set up to put up a security fence against suicide terrorists. They actually wanted to take us to an international law court for committing the international crime, so they said, a war crime of putting up a fence against terrorist bombers.
“And this is what happened the second time with the Goldstone Report – when we responded, in the most pinpointed way that any army has responded, to the firing of thousands of rockets on our citizens. And this is also what happened last May – when Israel enforced a naval blockade to prevent weapons and war material from infiltrating into the terror organizations in Gaza.
“The truth is that our soldiers were defending our country and defending their very lives.”