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    » 05/31/2010, 00.00


    Israel attacks ship carrying aid to Gaza. At least 10 dead

    The Israeli commandos used helicopters and patrol boats to attack the ships. There were also two deaths among the IDF soldiers. Israel temporarily censors the news. Vessels carrying cement, wheelchairs, water purifiers and prefabricated houses to contest the blockade on the Strip. Thousands of Turks demonstrateoutside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul.

    Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 10 people were killed this morning in an Israeli navy attack on a fleet of Turkish ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Some sources speak of 10-15 killed and over 60 injured.  Tel Aviv Army Radio reported the incident, saying that two Israeli commandos were killed, but has placed a temporary censorship on information.

    Israeli radio said that the IDF soldiers, boarded the ship from helicopters and patrol boats, meeting resistance, Al Jazeera sources on the main ship, the Mavi Marmara, argue that the soldiers began shooting as soon as they set foot on ship.

    The Turkish ships set sail from Cyprus, carrying 10 000 tonnes of aid to Gaza to contrast the blockade that Israel imposes on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. According to activists, the ships are full of concrete for building, prefabricated houses, water purifiers and electric wheelchairs.

    The fleet of aid was prepared by pro-Palestinian groups and a Turkish organization for Human Rights. According to some sources, it is the ninth time that pro-Palestinian groups have sought to force the Israeli blockade. Turkey had asked the Israeli government to allow the safe passage of ships, but Israel had threatened to stop any contravention of the blockade, which has lasted since 2007, when Hamas took power in Gaza.

    The United Nations has continuously called on Israel to remove its blockade to avoid a humanitarian crisis. But Tel Aviv denies that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, allowing timetabled entry of food, medicine and kerosene. According to Israel, the blockade is necessary to prevent the entry of weapons and missiles to the Gaza Strip.

    As soon as the news of the attack spread, thousands of Turks gathered in protest outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. Turkey also protested officially to the Ambassador in Tel Aviv. Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza described the Israeli military action as "barbaric."

    Some Turkish agencies report that there hundreds of pro-Palestinian activist on the seized ships, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire (Northern Ireland), some MEPs and an elderly Holocaust survivor.

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    See also

    31/05/2010 ISRAEL - TURKEY
    State of alert throughout Israel. "Brink of war or new Intifada"
    Toll from attack rises to 19 dead. Roads to the West Bank and the Gaza crossings closed. Access to Temple Mount mosques forbidden. Raed Salah, Palestinian leader of the northern Israel is seriously hurt. Arab and Israeli strikes in Gaza. Abbas declares three days of mourning and calls the Israeli operation "a massacre". Israel claims aid ships were "a provocation" with links to terrorism. Anti-Israeli demonstrations in Istanbul. Ankara withdraws its ambassador from Tel Aviv.

    27/12/2008 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    At least 70 dead, initial tally of Israeli retaliation against Hamas
    Aircraft bearing the Star of David this morning began attacking fundamentalist targets. President Peres denies that his country wants to reoccupy Gaza. Egypt is trying to stop the violence.

    06/11/2012 TURKEY – ISRAEL
    Mavi Marmara, Ankara opens trial against former Israeli officers
    Trial in absentia on charges of "incitement to murder". If convicted the judges may issue an international arrest warrant. In the assault on the Mavi Marmara nine activists were killed, dozens wounded. For Tel Aviv it is a unilateral political act "without" judicial credibility. "

    16/12/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
    Uncertainty over ceasefire between Hamas and Israel
    The militant groups say it will end on December 19. But the majority of the people in Gaza are asking that it be continued.

    01/02/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
    The Gaza border is under control, while Egypt is pushing Hamas and Abbas to dialogue
    Cairo hopes to restore the Palestinian Authority as the guarantee of security in Gaza. But dialogue between Abbas and Meshal is still difficult. Human Rights Watch accuses Israel and the international community of creating a "humanitarian crisis" in the Gaza Strip.

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