The UN Security Council on Tuesday called for an impartial investigation of Israel's commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and condemning the "acts" that resulted in the loss of at least nine lives.

After an emergency meeting and marathon negotiations, the 15 council members agreed on a presidential statement that was weaker than that initially demanded by the Palestinians, Arabs and Turkey.

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They had called for condemnation of the attack by Israeli forces "in the strongest terms" and "an independent international investigation."

The UN statement followed a Chinese condemnation, in which Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Beijing was "appalled, and condemns the Israeli navy's attack on the Turkish fleet shipping humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip."

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