Hawks instructed to arrest Israeli commanders if they enter SA

The four commanders are wanted in Turkey for their involvement in a deadly raid on flotilla bound for Gaza.

FILE: An Israeli soldier fires a tear gas canister during clashes with Palestinian stone throwers in the West Bank city of Hebron.

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks have now confirmed they've received a letter from Turkish authorities asking that they arrest four Israeli Defence Force commanders if they enter South Africa.

The Hawks denied last week they had any knowledge of the request.

The four commanders are wanted in Turkey for their involvement in a deadly raid on an aid flotilla in 2010 which was bound for Gaza.

The Hawks' Hangwani Mulaudzi says, "Following thorough consultation, we can confirm now that that letter has been received. It will be processed through our internal channels to Interpol for further processing."

Mulaudzi explains that the letter was not sent exclusively to South Africa, but to all Interpol member states.

"Once they have received it we will have to conform to the request that has been made."