At least 16 killed in Gaza flotilla clash, Israeli TV says
Published 31/05/2010 | 08:00
At least 16 people were killed in a clash this morning between the Israeli navy and a flotilla of ships whose organizers said were trying to bring aid to the Gaza Strip this morning, Israel's Channel Two television news said.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry called the raid "inhuman" and said it "may cause damage to our relations that will be impossible to repair," according to the statement e-mailed by the ministry in Ankara today. Several of the aid ships were from Turkey.
Israeli forces met resistance early today when they boarded the ships to prevent them from reaching Gaza, Army Radio said. A spokesman for the Israel army denied initiating violence.
"We did not attack any boats," the spokesman said, speaking anonymously under military guidelines. "The IDF is fulfilling the directions of the Israeli government to prevent anyone from entering the Gaza Strip without proper coordination and authorization from Israel."
Israel has said it wouldn’t let the ships reach Gaza, calling the mission a propaganda trick aimed at making it look bad. The Israeli government had said it would assist in offloading the cargo and sending it by truck to Gaza after a security inspection.
Hamas, the militant organization that rules Gaza, said the Israeli action was an "act of terror." Taher Nunu, a Hamas spokesman, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera television that Israel should be tried for war crimes.
Three Israeli navy missile boats left the Haifa naval base last night, planning to intercept the flotilla, according to reporters on board.