Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israel: Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation a front for Hamas with ties to al- Qaida

Protests were held throughout the Middle East and Europe on Monday in reaction to Israel's commando raid on a Turkish ship ferrying supplies to Palestinians that left at least nine people dead.

Israel defended the raid and posted video on the Internet showing Israeli soldiers during the raid being attacked with metal pipes and knives by the Turkish ship's crew.

The incident prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a planned visit to Washington for a meeting with President Obama set for Tuesday.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council, prompted by Arab governments, convened a special session to discuss the incident, which took place in international waters near Gaza. The Palestinians and Arabs, backed by a number of council members including Turkey, also called for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza, immediately release the ships and humanitarian activists, and allow them to deliver their goods.

Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said in his briefing to the U.N.'s most powerful body that the early-morning bloodshed would have been avoided "if repeated calls on Israel to end the counterproductive and unacceptable blockade of Gaza had been heeded."