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Freedom Flotilla was not peaceful, Israel tells UN

Freedom Flotilla was not peaceful, Israel tells UN 01.06.2010
Source: RIA Novosti
Photo: Israeli navy ships. AFP
Israel's deputy UN ambassador Daniel Carmon said the Freedom Flotilla stormed by Israeli military on Monday was not peaceful.

The Israeli military stormed the Turkish-flagged six-ship Freedom Flotilla carrying some 10,000 tons of aid to the Islamist-run Gaza Strip and 700 human rights activists in neutral waters in the Mediterranean Sea on Monday.

Nine activists have been confirmed dead but media reports put the toll at about 20. The international community has widely condemned Israel, with Turkey withdrawing its ambassador and calling for an emergency UN Security Council session.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel committed an act of "state terrorism."

Carmon said the flotilla was "not humanitarian" and that the passengers of one ship resisted the Israeli soldiers, which, he said, was not typical of civilians.

He also said weapons are constantly smuggled into the Hamas-controlled Gaza, including by sea, and added that the flotilla intended to bypass official checkpoints for goods and cargoes authorized by Israel.

The Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, left the conference hall after the Israeli representative started his speech. Asked by journalists to comment on the claims that the humanitarian convoy attacked Israeli military, he called the claims "absurd".

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