At least 10 killed as Israeli navy intercept Gaza-bound shipsMay 31st, 2010 - 3:07 pm ICT by BNO News
JERUSALEM (BNO NEWS) — At least 10 people were killed and scores of others were left injured after Israeli ships clashed with six ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and what organizers say is aid for Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday.
According to the IDF, the Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward the Israeli port of Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid supplies which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.
During the boarding of the ships, “the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs,” the IDF said. “Activists grabbed at least one assault weapon from an IDF soldier.”
“As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire,” the IDF added.
During the clash, over 10 activists were killed and at least 10 naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire, an Israeli spokesperson told BBC World News.
Video footage from one of the boats, broadcast on CNN Turk, showed activists attacking Israeli soldiers with metal pipes.
Israel said the ships raised suspicion because they refused to be inspected for weapons. Israel also said they had offered alternatives, such as transferring the supplies via ground borders, but organizers refused.
Israel regularly sends humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. Earlier this month, between May 16 and May 22, Israel transferred a total of 13,517 tons of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip via various border crossings.
The ships are carrying pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and a Holocaust survivor. A second ‘wave’ of two ships was expected on Monday afternoon, but it was not immediately clear if they would still proceed as scheduled after Monday’s incident.
– Turkish media reported that the country’s Foreign Ministry has recalled its ambassador to Jerusalem. Turkey canceled military drills with Israel. The country also called for an emergency UN meeting. Dozens of angry protesters tried to storm the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul while shouting “damn Israel.”
– Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ordered three days of mourning after the deadly clashes at sea, according to Israeli media.
– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a full investigation on the incident after condemning the killings.
– Jordan condemned the Israeli raid and summoned the Israeli charge d’affaires in Amman.
– Iran condemned the Israel Navy clashes onboard the ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists, calling the regime in Tel Aviv a threat to global peace and security, according to state-run Press TV.
– The Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Monday summoned the Israeli ambassador to Spain, Rafael Schutz, after the “unacceptable” and “very serious” events, the Madrid-based EFE Newswire service reported.
– The Greek FM said that the visit of the Israeli Joint Chiefs is being postponed and military drills with Israel canceled, CNN reported. The country summoned the Israeli ambassador in Athens.
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- Jewish group condemns pro-Palestinian activists for causing tragic violence - Jun 01, 2010
- Abbas orders three days of mourning after 'slaughter' at sea - May 31, 2010
- Obama says US wants credible, impartial investigation after Gaza flotilla deaths - Jun 02, 2010
- Carter Center condems "Israel's attack" on Gaza-bound ships - Jun 03, 2010
- Obama calls for clarification of 'facts' after Gaza flotilla clashes - Jun 01, 2010
- American Jewish Committee urges to condemn Venezuelan President after Israel's remarks - Jun 08, 2010
- Now, second aid ship heading towards Gaza - Jun 04, 2010
- Israel exploring new ways to supply goods to Gaza - Jun 04, 2010
- Iran condems Israel Navy clashes onboard Gaza aid flotilla - State TV - May 31, 2010
- Turkey expels Israeli Ambassador and diplomats after UN flotilla report - Sep 02, 2011
- Israeli soldiers board Gaza-bound 'Rachel Corrie' without incident - Jun 05, 2010
- UN resolution 'unacceptable', says Israel - Jun 01, 2010
- Israel says Gaza-bound Rachel Corrie ignores invitation to dock at Ashdod port - Jun 05, 2010
- American citizen among 9 dead in Israeli raid of aid flotilla - Jun 04, 2010
Tags: al jazeera, ashdod, assault weapon, bbc world, bno, border crossings, fire and light, gaza strip, israel navy, israeli defense forces, israeli navy, israeli port, life vests, medical patients, naval personnel, palestinian activists, safe passage, security inspections, turkish media, violent activity