In April 2010, nine people were killed in a bloody interception by the
Israel Navy of a Turkish-flagged flotilla destined for the Gaza Strip. The
Israel Navy's commando unit employed live fire after its soldiers were
attacked by scores of Islamists with knives and iron bars.
The new doctrine was drafted by the military's Operations Branch and
sought to draw lessons from the battle aboard the Turkish-flagged ship
Marmara. The doctrine addressed the need for coordination between military
units as well as methods to engage hostile civilians.
"The protocol document is meant to help take care of this type of
event," the unidentified officer told the military weekly Bamahane. "It
explains how to do so according to international law and it follows ethical
and judicial criteria."
A military investigation of the Marmara case concluded that Israel
failed to appoint an individual responsible for the detainees from the
Turkish-flagged flotilla, Middle East Newsline reported. The probe asserted that this further harmed
Israel's image in wake of the interception.
The doctrine also included requirements for a common language in
communications between the air force and navy. Another recommendation was
the introduction of shared principles in the engagement and detention of
"The order is very important in terms of the law," the officer said.
"For example, when you separate a person from his equipment you are liable
to be charged for it, which happened on the Marmara. The new order is
supposed to improve our image abroad. With the help of these instructions we
will know how to lawfully defend each activity we do in a judicial and
So far, the forthcoming flotilla has been denied insurance by Lloyd's of
London. The denial was confirmed after an Israeli legal group, the Israel
Law Center, said any insurer of the Gaza flotilla would be vulnerable to
"We are cautioning them that if they knowingly insure one of the
flotilla boats providing material resources to Hamas, they will also be
indemnifying the Hamas rocket crews for all future Kassam missile attacks as
the terror victims will surely sue them," the Israel Law Center said.