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Americas

Israel blasted over Gaza raid

media Palestinians in a boat prepare to receive a flotilla of pro-Palestinian … Reuters

A UN probe slammed Israel for using "unnecessary violence" when its troops stormed an aid flotilla bound for Gaza. The release of the report late Monday came a day ahead of a speech by US President Barack Obama in which he is expected to press world leaders at the United Nations in New York to support his Middle East peace drive.

The UN probe also found that some of the activists on board the aid ship were the victims of actions consistent with “summary execution”. The inquiry ordered by the UN Human Rights Council says there is “clear evidence to support prosecutors” for wilful killing and torture against Israel.

In May, Israel stormed an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing nine Turkish activists. On Thursday, Turkey welcomed the UN probe saying that it was “extremely unbiased and based on sound evidence”.

The report comes ahead of a speech by US President Barack Obama on the peace process at the United Nations in New York. He is expected to tell world powers they can help seal a deal to welcome a new member, Palestine, by backing his Middle East drive.

On Thursday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu welcomed the UN report and said it “meets their expectations. I hope the Israeli side will from now on act within international law”.

The raid delivered a blow to relations between Israel and Turkey, and Turkish officials demanded an apology and compensation money for the victims.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel Foreign ministry lambasted the report saying the Human Rights Council had a "biased, politicized and extremist approach."

"The Human Rights Council blamed Israel prior to the investigation and it is no surprise that they condemn after," said Andy David, a spokesman for the ministry, referring to a resolution in early June condemning the raid.

 

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