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» 05/31/2010
TURKEY - ISRAEL
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
05/31/2010 ISRAEL - TURKEY
State of alert throughout Israel. "Brink of war or new Intifada"
by Joshua Lapide
12/27/2008 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
At least 70 dead, initial tally of Israeli retaliation against Hamas
11/06/2012 TURKEY – ISRAEL
Mavi Marmara, Ankara opens trial against former Israeli officers
12/16/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
Uncertainty over ceasefire between Hamas and Israel
by Joshua Lapide
02/01/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
The Gaza border is under control, while Egypt is pushing Hamas and Abbas to dialogue

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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