Relatives of nine Turkish citizens killed in a raid by Israeli commandos on an activist ship attempting to break the naval blockade of Gaza have filed a lawsuit against Israel, according to Turkish media.
The lawsuit was filed Oct. 5 in a Turkish court by more than 30 relatives of Turkish citizens killed in the May 31, 2010 raid, as well as 30 others injured in the attack, according to the Hurriyet Daily News and the Anatolia news agency. They are calling for about $5 million in compensatory damages.
The trial against four Israeli commanders in the raid, including former Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, is scheduled to begin in a Turkish court in early November.
Israeli Navy commandos on May 31, 2010 boarded the Mavi Marmara, which claimed to be carrying humanitarian aid, after warning the ship not to sail into waters near the Gaza Strip in circumvention of Israel’s naval blockade of the coastal strip.
Israel’s government-appointed Turkel Commission found in its investigation that the government and the military behaved appropriately, and that the blockade of Gaza was legal.
The United Nations’ Palmer Committee also found the blockade to be legal but said Israel used excessive force while boarding the vessel.
Turkey’s inquiry deemed the Gaza blockade and the Israeli raid to have been illegal. Ankara has called on Israel for an official apology and compensation for the raid, and to lift the Gaza blockade. The two countries have broken off diplomatic relations and military agreements since the incident.