Tue, June 01, 2010
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UN debates Gaza flotilla

2010-06-01 07:08:44 GMT2010-06-01 15:08:44 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Israel's storming of a Gaza-bound aid ship which left at least nine dead. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Protesters lined the streets in Times Square in New York City, in a mark of outrage after Israeli marines stormed a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza killing at least 9 activists and triggering a diplomatic crisis.

Meanwhile the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting, where European nations as well as the UN and Turkey also voiced outrage.

British ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant.

"There is an unambiguous need for Israel to act with restraint and in line with its international obligations. Given the number of casualties in this incident, Israel now bears a responsibility to provide a full account of what occurred, what efforts were made to minimize the loss of life, and why the death toll was so high.

Once-close Muslim ally Turkey said Israel must be held accountable.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

"The use of force was not only inappropriate but also disproportionate. International law dictates that even in war time, civilians are not to be attacked or harmed. The doctrine of self-defense does not in any way justify the actions taken by the Israeli forces."

The United States called for an investigation.

U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alejandro Wolff.

"We are working to ascertain the facts. We expect a credible and transparent investigation and strongly urge the Israeli government to investigate the incident fully.

Israel's deputy Permanent UN Representative Daniel Carmon held the activists responsible.

"What kind of peace activists use knives, clubs and fire from weapons stolen from soldiers and other weapons to attack soldiers who board a ship in accordance with international law?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short his trip to Canada and canceled plans to meeting with president Barack Obama on Tuesday to return home to address the growing crisis.

Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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