Let's review in a nutshell what Israel's first report on the seizing of the Turkish Aid ship, in which 9 were killed, has found.
The man conducting the internal investigation was Major General (Reserve) Giora Eiland. He determined that there were mistakes – but no failure, and thus drew no personal conclusions.
It is his determination that the concept of engagement was wrong, with the single biggest mistake being that the operation's assessment was based upon faulty intelligence. Other critical points revealed were that Israel's forces assumed that the opposition would be light and that there was apparently no alternative plan prepared.
So the IDF was exonerated of negligence in it's seizure of the Marmara – and directed criticism at the professional mistakes of the action's planners (highest levels not withstanding) and the intelligence bodies. He did have words of praise for the Naval commandos.
As for reactions so far, Israel's Chief-of-Staff said that the defense forces will make improvements. Turkey has welcomed the report but said it is not enough and wishes for an international inquiry. There are some accusations of responsibility flying around – but this is to be expected.
Placing the bulk of the blame on intelligence is a safe bet – because one can never have too much enough intelligence. But obviously the rebuttal here will be is there such a thing as 100% intelligence? If any army would wait for that magic figure before being ordered into action before embarking on an action, the order would never come.
Perhaps the Major General in his Report wished to cite material for judgment, but not punishment – and above that, for study by Israel's professional Army. Now the question is, will this report, and/or the Turkel commission's report be enough to satisfy the UN and the international community?
Middle East Correspondent