Israeli Military Sort of Admits Error in Bungled Raid


Israel admits that elite commandos killing aid workers on a flotilla wasn't the best use of their time. Sort of.

Wrong intelligence, wrong equipment, wrong tactics. Israel's military acknowledged big mistakes on Tuesday in the bungled boarding of a Gaza-bound aid ship in which elite troops killed nine international activists.

Though Israelis rallied to their conscripts in the face of foreign fury, the domestic recrimination — with "Foul-up" and "Fiasco" dominating newspaper headlines — betrayed an erosion of confidence recalling the setbacks of the 2006 Lebanon war.

One Israeli commentator called for Defence Minister Ehud Barak's ouster. Cabinet members vowed to investigate, but their insistence that the pro-Palestinian activists had provoked the bloodshed found a ready ear among an irate Israeli public.

Marine commandos involved in the attack pointed to a failure of intelligence. "We did not expect such resistance from the group's activists as we were talking about a humanitarian aid group," the boarding party's commander, an unnamed naval lieutenant who received special permission to be interviewed, told Army Radio.

"The outcome was different to what we thought, but I must say that this was mainly because of the inappropriate behaviour of the adversary we encountered."

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