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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-06-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 In the Aftermath of the Deadly RaidTuesday, 01 June 2010 08:57
The whole world has vehemently condemned the pre-dawn Israeli raid against a flotilla carrying aid and activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip. More than nine activists were killed, said the Israeli army. However, independent sources spoke of 19 people dead. As many as 480 people aboard the boats are being detained in Israel and about 48 will be deported. Another 45 passengers, most of them of Turkish origin, are being treated in hospitals. The first six Greek activists who took part in the flottilla landed early on Tuesday in Greece. In the meantime, foreign diplomats will be allowed to visit the detained passengers. NATO is to hold an emergency session on Tuesday, while UN Security Council called for an "impartial" and "transparent" investigation into an Israeli commando assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
Security Council Calls for International Investigation
The UN Security Council condemned the Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla that resulted in the loss of human lives.
The Council requested that Israel immediately release the six ships in the convoy and the civilians it is holding. It also called for an "impartial and transparent investigation.
The Council also urged Israel to allow full consular access for the countries involved to retrieve their dead and wounded, and to ensure the delivery of the convoy's aid to Gaza.
It then went on to underline that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable and highlighted the need for the "sustained and regular flow of goods and people" to the Palestinian territory and the "unimpeded" distribution of humanitarian aid.
The Security Council resolution was finally drafted after marathon talks that lasted more than 12 hours. Diplomats were quoted as saying that it was a disagreement between Turkey, which had undertaken the phrasing of the resolution, and the USA, which had been trying to water it down, that deterred the Security Council members from reaching a decision sooner.
480 People Detained, 48 to Be Deported
As many as 480 people aboard the boats are being detained in Israel, while another 48 will be deported, said the Israeli radio.
Another 45 passengers, with the majority of them being Turkish nationals, have been rushed to hospitals. The Israeli radio said that six Israeli troops, who were injured during the raid, are also in hospitals.
The detainees will be taken for questioning and then authorities in Israel will decide whether they will let them go or charge them.
Israeli Government Backs Army
The Israeli Defence Minister had a telephone contact with the US Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor James L. Jones to brief them on the attack against the flotilla carrying aid.
Ehud Barak claimed the operation did not run contrary to the international maritime law and then gave an account of what happened before the raid in the Turkish ship.
He stressed that the passengers of the Turkish ship attacked the soldiers and injured some. At this point the soldiers had to defend themselves, said Ehud Barak.
The Israeli Prime Minister cancelled his scheduled visit to the USA and his meeting with Barack Obama and rushed back to Israel. He expressed his sorrow over the loss of human life, offering, at the same time, his full back to the Israeli army.
Earlier, the US President had demanded be informed and voiced his grave sorrow over the loss of human lives.
Turkey Wants Bodies to Be Repatriated
Turkey demanded late on Monday Israel repatriate the bodies of the pro-Palestinian activists who were killed during the Israeli raid against the flotilla. It also demanded the release of the arrestees and of the six ships of the mission.
In the meantime, in a drive to avert actions of retaliation against Turkey's Jewish population, Erdogan promised his government would guarantee its safety.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA, Reuters, AFP
News item: 37139