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Monday, May 31, 2010

At least 19 people are dead and dozens more injured after Israeli troops attacked a convoy of ships in international waters bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, Al Jazeera is reporting. The flotilla was attacked 65 km off the Gaza coast as it aimed to break Israel’s siege on Gaza.

The flotilla left Cyprus on Sunday to reach Gaza by Monday morning, but Israel claimed the boats were engaged in an “act of provocation” against the Israeli military instead of providing aid, and that it issued warrants to prohibit their entrance, noting that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing there. Organizers, mostly pro-Palestinian advocates from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, rejected this claim.

Israeli military spokesperson Avital Leibovich said: “This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves.” Al Jazeera’s correspondent said a white surrender flag was coming from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.
Al Jazeera

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