31 May 2010, Monday

Israeli navy assaulted aid convoy, killing 9 passengers

An international aid convoy carrying aid to the Gaza strip got attacked by the Israeli naval commandos, early Monday morning. 9 activists found dead after the assault. Turkish authorities warned the Israeli government about the further consequences.

MİTHAT FABIAN SÖZMEN mfs@emekdunyasi.net

Israeli commandos reached the Turkish flotilla “Mavi Marmara” by choppers and storm boats while the convoy was still in the international waters. According to the Israeli news agencies the activists showed resistance to the Israeli armed forces and after the collision soldiers started fire on the resistant group, killing 9 passengers.

After the assault, Israeli forces blocked the communication with the ships. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu cut their South American trip short and now they’re on their way back to the country. Turkish authorities including ministers, high level officials and military commanders held an immediate meeting early in the morning. Following the meeting the Turkish Deputy Minister Bülent Arınç told the media that Turkey has decided to cancel three planned joint military practices with Israel to protest the assaults.

"By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives. We strongly condemn these inhumane practices of Israel," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement made by e-mail.

“Israel regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome” said the Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. Hamas has called on Muslims to “rise up” and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas described the assault as massacre and announced 3 days of mourning in the Palestine. Israeli authorities also warned their citizens not to visit Turkey for a while.


Thousands of Turkish people has gathered in squares of the big cities like Istanbul and Ankara to protest Israel’s military attack. The crowd waving the flags of Turkey and Palestine have set Israeli flags on fire. Further protests are also planned for the Monday evening by the leftist parties and organizations.

Western countries have also condemned Israel.  Catherine Ashton the EU foreign affairs chief demanded a “full inquiry” from the Israeli officials about the civilian killings in the aid convoy. Countries like France, Spain, Sweden, Greece and Germany summoned the Israeli ambassador’s in their country demanding and immediate report. Greece have cancelled their joint military practices with Israel just like Turkey.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Monday he was “deeply concerned” about the deaths of civilians. There were 2 parliament members in the aid convoy, Inge Höger and Annette Groth both of whom belong to the Left-Party (Die Linke).

İstanbul - Labour World