Israel's deadly military operation on a high-profile international aid mission on Monday has sparked international outrage and further deteriorated diplomatic relations between Israel and its key Muslim ally Turkey.
Tuesday, June 1
After an emergency session, the UN Security Council called for an independent inquiry into the deadly Israeli military raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla carrying aid and activists to the blockaded territory.
Global outcry follows Israel's raid on Gaza-bound aid flotilla
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Europe and the Middle East on Monday in protest at the Israeli storming of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. In this photo, protesters display a Palestinian flag near the Israeli embassy in Paris. (Photo credit: Julie Kara)
Protesters wave Palestinian and Turkish flags on the Champs Élysées, near the Israeli embassy in Paris, while brandishing banners saying, "Long live free Palestine" and "Criminal Israel". (Photo credit: Julie Kara)
In Paris, protesters held images of children killed in the December 2008 Israeli military operation in Gaza. (Photo credit: Julie Kara)
Police used teargas in Paris when about 1,200 people demonstrated near the Israeli embassy, hurling stones and waving Turkish and Palestinian flags. (Photo credit: Julie Kara)
In the Turkish capital of Ankara, tens of thousands of people joined street demonstrations Monday. Turkish-Israeli relations have been severely strained by the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla. (Photo credit: AFP)
Pakistani demonstrators burn an Israeli flag during demonstrations against Israel. (Photo credit: AFP)
Across Egypt, the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, up to 8,000 Egyptians protested, demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in Cairo and calling on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah border with Gaza.(Photo credit: AFP)
Women holding Palestinian flags demonstrate in front of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid. (Photo credit: AFP)
“The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting form the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The Council, in this context, condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families,” the UN Security Council said in a statement.
“The Security Council requests the immediate release of the ships as well as the civilians held by Israel … and it calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards,” the statement said.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak orders opening of Rafah border crossing in southern Gaza.
In an address to parliament, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the Israeli raid was a "bloody massacre" for which Israel "must definitely be punished". Turkey's leader also called on Israel to immediately end its embargo of the Gaza Strip.
The loss of lives in the ship raid is "inexplicable", EU President Herman Van Rompuy said on Tuesday, speaking at an EU-Russia summit in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.
The deaths were "absolutely unjustified", Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.
"China is shocked by Israel’s attack on a multinational convoy carrying international aid to Gaza which resulted in heavy casualties,” said Yang Tao, a counsellor at the Chinese permanent mission to the UN, addressing the Security Council’s emergency session.
Monday, May 31
"Our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives, or they would have been killed. And regrettably in this exchange at least 10 people died. We regret this loss of life. We regret any of the violence that was there. We would like -- I would like to wish speedy recovery to the wounded, including to four of our own soldiers," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking in Ottawa on a visit to North America that he cut short following Monday’s events.
“Israel regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome. We repeatedly called upon the organisers and all those who were associated with them through diplomatic channels and any other means we could to stop this provocation. This so-called humanitarian aid did not serve humanitarian purposes,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.
“What Israel has committed on board the freedom flotilla was a massacre,” said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as he declared three days of mourning for the dead.
The Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, urged Arabs and Muslims on Monday to "rise up" at Israeli embassies across the globe to protest the deadly raid.
"The president expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded … The president also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning's tragic events as soon as possible," the White House said in a summary of President Barack Obama's Monday phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Turkey announced it would recall its ambassador to Israel in protest of the incident and cancelled three joint Israeli-Turkish military exercises.
Protesters gathered outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul Monday, burning Israeli flags and shouting anti-Israeli slogans.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan cut short an official visit to Latin America to return to Turkey.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was shocked by the incident. The UN chief condemned the killings and said a full investigation on the incident was vital.
The organisation of Arab nations has called an emergency meeting for June 1 to discuss the incident.
"I am profoundly shocked by the tragic consequences of the Israeli military operation against the ‘Peace Flotilla’ for Gaza," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a statement issued Monday. Sarkozy also condemned the “disproportionate” use of force and offered condolences to the families of the victims.
"EU ambassadors have called a special meeting in Brussels," a European Commission spokesperson told reporters Monday.
Greece ended military exercises with Israel in protest of the raid.
Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Greece summoned the Israeli ambassadors to their respective countries.
"The inhuman acts of the Zionist regime against Palestinians and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the people of Gaza does not show the strength of the Zionist regime, but its weakness," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told state broadcaster IRIB.
Date created : 2010-06-01