Israel: Bad Intel Led to Botched Flotilla Raid

In this image reviewed by the Israeli military, showing the view from aboard an Israeli Naval vessel, as Israeli Navy soldiers intercept several boats headed towards the Gaza Strip, while in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, early Monday May 31, 2010. Israeli naval commandos on Monday stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 passengers in a dramatic predawn raid that set off worldwide condemnation and a diplomatic crisis.(AP Photo/Uriel Sinai, Pool)
AP Photo/Uriel Sinai
An Israeli military report has concluded that flawed intelligence-gathering and planning led to the deadly botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

The report does not fault the commandos who opened fire after being confronted by violent pro-Palestinian activists on board one of the ships. Eight Turks and one Turkish-American died in the May 31 raid.

Declassified sections of the report released Monday say faulty intelligence led the military to underestimate the potential for violent resistance on board.

The incident occurred on board the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, which was intercepted by helicopter-borne Israeli commandos as it sailed in a six-ship flotilla carrying pro-Palestinian activists and supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Five ships were commandeered without incident, but some of the 600 activists on board the Mavi Marmara, owned by a Turkish Islamic charity, actively resisted, and the soldiers opened fire.

The soldiers, seven of whom were wounded, said their lives were in danger. Activists called their actions self-defense.

Although Israel has said the blockade is necessary to keep weapons out of the hands of Hamas, it has come under heavy international criticism over the raid.