Tue, June 01, 2010
Video > News/Media > Gaza flotilla clash

Israel condemned over ship action

2010-06-01 07:04:43 GMT2010-06-01 15:04:43 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Israel's storming of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla draws criticism from friends and foes, and strains ties with regional ally Turkey, which had backed the convoy.

Israel's storming of a Gaza-bound aid convoy -- seen here in this Israeli Defence Force video -- has provoked a strong reaction from world leaders.

Israel says at least 10 international activists were killed during a confrontation as their ships tried to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.

Israeli officials said the commandos were met with knives and gunfire, a claim not yet independently verified.

Video shot by cameras accompanying the activists shows chaotic scenes, along with apparent claims the Israelis were responsible for the gunfire.

There's yet no full account of the activitists' viewpoint.

The raid has prompted international criticism of Israel, led by traditional ally, Turkey, who'd backed the convoy.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas described the actions as a "massacre".

In an initial reaction, the U.S. said it deeply regreted the loss of life and was looking into the incident.

Speaking in Uganda, U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon vowed a full investigation.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL, BAN KI-MOON, SAYING

"I am shocked by reports of killings and injuries of people on the boat carrying supplies to Gaza apparently in international waters, in the early hours of this morning. I condemn this violence. We do not yet know the full effect yet, more than 10 people appear to have been killed, and many more wounded. It is vital that there is a full investigation to determine exactly how this blood shed took place, I believe Israel must urgently provide a full explanation."

For its part, Israel blamed the flotilla organizers and participants for the loss of life.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel had a right to stop the convoy, citing the presence of Islamist Hamas in Gaza.

Another Israeli official said there was no chance of easing the blockade.

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency session Monday afternoon to discuss the raid.

David Botti, Reuters.

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