Worldwide Condemnation Of Israel Attack On Gaza Aid Ship

The United Nations called on an emergency meeting of the Security Council after Israel’s attack against a humanitarian aid boat bounded for Gaza. The unprovoked Israeli attack killed 19 people, and will increase Israel’s isolation among the international community.

Today world leaders were in shock, and almost unanimously expressed their condemnation of Israel’s action. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to fully investigate the incident.

“I am shocked by reports of killing and injuries on boats carrying supplies for Gaza. I condemn this violence,” said Ban Ki-moon.

The UN’s human rights chief Navi Pillay also expressed condemnation in strong terms after heavily armed Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish ship, which was part of a six-vessels flotilla that was carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid to Gaza despite of the Israeli blockade. The incident occurred in international waters, which makes matters a lot worse for Israel.

Today, thousands of people demonstrated in Turkey to protest Israel’s action, and the Turkish government has summoned Israel’s ambassador.

“This deplorable incident, which took place in open seas and constitutes a flagrant breach of international law, may lead to irreparable consequences in our bilateral relations. Whatever the reason is, such action against civilians involved only in peaceful activities is unacceptable. Israel will have to bear the consequences of this behaviour, which constitutes a violation of international law,” said a statement issued by the Turkish government.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan went even further by  accusing Israel of committing “state terrorism”. Anti-Israeli protests have also been held in Jordan, Lebanon, Greece, Sweden, the UK, France and Spain (see photograph below).

In Europe, the chorus of condemnation was just as strong. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he was “deeply shocked” by the attack, adding that “nothing can justify” such action. Spain, which currently holds the European Union presidency, summoned the Israeli ambassador to Madrid to explain what the Spanish government called an “unacceptable operation”.

In Israel, Aluf Benn from The Haaretz is calling for a “national independent inquiry” into the Gaza flotilla tragedy.

“There is no other fitting or proper way to clarify the circumstances of the incident, which began as an act of protest and ended with dead demonstrators and a grave international crisis,” writes Benn in his analysis.

In Washington, the Obama administration did not expressed an outright condemnation, but instead said that it “deeply regrets” the attack.

“The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” a White House statement said.

Under the Netanyahu administration, Israel is acting more and more like a rogue state showing absolutely no respect for international laws. From the assassination of an Hamas leader in Dubai conducted by Mossad to the attack today on a Turkish civilian ship in international waters, it has become clear that the actions of the Jewish state are making any peaceful resolution in the Middle-East impossible. The “deep regrets” expressed by the Obama administration are just not enough. It is time for the United States to seriously reconsider the “special relationship” with Israel instead of providing either implicit or even explicit complicity for Israel’s irrational and border line criminal actions.

To view additional photographs of worldwide protests over Israel’s attack on Gaza aid ship click here.

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