Israel's state watchdog criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday over his handling of a 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine Turks dead and ties with Ankara in shreds.

In a 153-page report, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss slammed the decision-making process that led to the botched pre-dawn raid on the six-ship flotilla on May 31, 2010, which was headed by the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ferry carrying more than 600 people.

The assault triggered an international outcry and a lingering diplomatic crisis between once-close allies Israel and Turkey, with Ankara demanding a formal apology and compensation for the families of the victims.

“In the process of decision-making, which was led by the Prime Minister and under his responsibility, regarding the handling of the [flotilla], there were significant shortcomings,” said the report.

Mr. Netanyahu, it said, had not held any structured, formal discussion with top ministers about the flotilla, and had only held separate talks with Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, neither of whom was properly documented.

Reacting to the report, the Premier's office issued a statement defending its record on security.

It also referred to a U.N. report on the flotilla, published last year, which endorsed the legality of Israel's naval blockade on Gaza.


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