Protests in Middle East, Europe, follow deadly Israeli attack on flotilla as UN convenes emergency session
Monday, May 31st, 2010
The alliance between Israel and Turkey has been shattered and the middle east pushed dangerously towards further destabilization.
Update (2010/06/01): Flash updates – the UN has called for an independent inquiry after a 10-hour session. The Globe and Mail has provided a breakdown of international response by country – Egypt has opened a temporary border crossing. Israel has released a few activists while hundreds more are detained and subject to a communications blackout.
Related: Israeli troops attack ship carrying aid to Gaza killing 16 | Israeli navy prepares for action as activists’ flotilla nears Gaza | George Galloway, on aid mission to Gaza, is deported from Egypt | Cynthia McKinney Demands Immediate Release After Her Gaza-Bound Boat is Seized by Israeli Navy | Israeli troops kill apartheid wall protester | Gaza relief boat carrying former Congresswoman rammed by Israelis | Former US congresswoman, presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney barred from boarding plane to human rights conference
The Associated Press
May 31, 2010
|Demonstrators hold Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel at Taksim Square in Istanbul Monday (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)|
The UN Security Council was holding an emergency meeting Monday afternoon on Israel’s deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip, with the Palestinians and Arab nations calling for condemnation and an independent investigation.
Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said in his briefing to the UN’s most powerful body that Monday’s bloodshed would have been avoided “if repeated calls on Israel to end the counterproductive and unacceptable blockade of Gaza had been heeded.”
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the raid “murder conducted by a state” and demanded an immediate Israeli apology, an urgent inquiry, international legal action against the authorities and perpetrators responsible, and an end to the Gaza blockade.”
Meanwhile, condemnation and protests spread across Europe and the Arab world Monday in reaction to the raid, in which at least nine pro-Palestinian activists, most of them Turks, were killed.
Reaction to the attack was a new blow to Israel’s international standing at a time when the West, including the United States, has grown frustrated with its stance in the peace process.
Israel said the activists attacked its commandos as they boarded one of six ships taking tons of supplies to Gaza while the flotilla’s organizers said the Israeli forces opened fire first.