Ban Ki-moon: 'Shocked by raids'
UN secretary-general condemns raids, Blair expresses "shock."
By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
May 31, 2010 09:07
3 minute read.
311_green protest banner.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
networks reported earlier that Israeli warships attacked the six
ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid for blockaded Gaza,
killing at least two and wounding an unknown number of people on board.
also started to gather outside the Israeli ambassador's residence in
the Turkish capital. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned the raid of the "Free Gaza" flotilla.
"I am shocked by reports of killing of people in boats carrying supply
to Gaza. I heard the ships were in international water. That is very
Ban called for a "thorough investigation" of Monday's events.
Media defense washed away by the flotilla
Former British prime minister and current
Quartet Representative Tony Blair expressed "regret and shock at the
tragic loss of life" that took place during the raid.
Blair also spoke of the need to find "a
different and better way of helping the people of Gaza and avoiding the
hardship and tragedy that is inherent in the present situation."
issues cautious response
The White House issued a cautious
reaction, saying "The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and
injuries sustained, and is currently working to understand the
circumstances surrounding this tragedy."
France issues condemnation, EU wants
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also
spoke out against the events, condemning Israel and adding that he was
shocked that the IDF would attack the ships, Army Radio reported.
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Union Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton called for an international
inquiry into the clashes, and Greece canceled a planned joint military
exercise with Israel as a result of Monday's events.
Greece and Jordan summoned their Israeli ambassadors to their respective
capitals later on Monday to explain the loss of life in the IDF
storming of the flotilla.
If the assault occurred in
international waters, “there will be serious repercussions,” Swedish
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated.
Egypt, Turkey summon Israel
ambassadors for questioning
Egypt summoned the Israeli
ambassador for clarifications of the "Free Gaza" flotilla raid on
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak condemned over the
incident, and said it acted with excessive force.
the Israeli ambassador Monday to the foreign ministry to discuss the
storming of the flotilla in the international waters off Gaza, which
heightened tensions between Turkey and Israel to new levels.
has violated international law and will answer for the outcome of its
actions," a spokesperson from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
Istanbul: Protesters demonstrate
against IDF raid
Turkish police blocked dozens of
stone-throwing protesters who tried to storm the Israeli Consulate in
Istanbul after the IDF flotilla raid was reported.
NTV showed dozens of angry protesters scuffling with Turkish police
guarding the consulate in downtown Istanbul.
"Damn Israel," the
Protesters later staged a more peaceful
demonstration outside the consulate, holding up Palestinian flags and
listening to readings from the Koran.
"We were not expecting such an operation in international waters," Omer
Faruk Korkmaz, an official of the pro-Islamic aid group, IHH, that led
the aid shipment said in Turkey. "Israel has been caught redhanded and
the international community will not forgive it."
Alon Liel, a former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, urged the Israeli
government to work together with the Turkish government to resolve the
fate of the flotilla. He suggested that, rather than bringing the
vessels into Ashdod, Israel should ask Turkey to send escort boats to
accompany them back to Turkey. “We have diplomatic relations with
Turkey,” said Liel. “Let’s utilize them.”
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