Israel's state comptroller on Wednesday criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak for their handling of a deadly commando raid on a Turkish ship that tried to break a blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2010, dpa reported.
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said in a 153-page report that the decision-making process was "unsystematic" and had "essential and significant flaws."
"The prime minister's decision-making was made without proper coordination, documentation, or preparation" the Ha'aretz daily quoted the report as saying.
A six-ship flotilla attempted to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010. Israeli naval commandos met violent resistance on board the largest vessel, the Mavi Marmara.
In the ensuing violent brawls, the commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists, and wounded 55 others. Nine naval commandos were injured.
The incident strained ties between Israel and Turkey, which has demanded an apology. Israel has refused to do so.
The report found that Netanyahu held numerous one-on-one meetings with various officials, but did not convene a broad decision-making forum at an early stage.
It added that although senior Israeli officials recognised in early 2010 that the Mavi Marmara would be problematic, Netanyahu waited until May 26 before meeting with relevant ministers to review strategy, develop a way to prevent the flotilla from sailing, and prepare for possible naval intervention.
The comptroller also charged that Barak did not examine the military's readiness to deal with violence, despite being aware that such a scenario could occur.
Netanyahu also came under fire for failing to rely sufficiently on the National Security Council, even though the consultations needed fell precisely within its remit.
Netanyahu's office issued a statement saying, "In the final result, Israeli citizens have never enjoyed such security for many years. The security the citizens enjoy is the direct result of responsible management and determined policies."
Barak said that he accepted the criticism and would work to ensure the necessary changes were made.
"This is what needs to be done, and will be done," his office quoted him as saying.