Monday, May 31, 2010

Israeli attack on Gaza flotilla, UK’s slow response condemned

By TCN News,
New Delhi: The Israeli attack on the convoy of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza early Monday is being widely condemned. At least 19 passengers were reportedly killed in the attack. Slow British reaction to the attack even when the fate of 28 Britons among some 700 passengers on the humanitarian flotilla remains unknown has also been condemned.
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a humanitarian flotilla of eight ships carrying 10,000 tons was attacked by Israeli commandoes in international water early Monday. 19 people have been killed, 10 of them Turkish and 26 injured, according to Israeli military sources. The Muslim countries have condemned the killings and demonstrations have been held in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and more are expected later today.

An injured Gaza aid ship passenger being taken to medical assistance [Photo by BBC]

The UK based The Muslim News has criticised the slow reaction by the British Foreign Office, while countries like Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Greece have summoned Israeli ambassadors and the EU has called for an immediate inquiry.
“Our Embassy officials are seeking urgent clarification into the incident,” was all an official spokesman of the British Government was prepared to say when challenged about the attack that killed up to 19 passengers and injured some 30 others.
“If such a raid was carried out by Iran, the Government would have condemned it outright. There was no concern shown for the safety of the 28 British citizens on board the ships by the FCO,” The Muslim News Editor Ahmed J Versi said. “One would have expected the Coalition Government to have been more forthright, especially since the Liberal Democrats usually spoke out against Israeli atrocities when they were in opposition.”
Meanwhile, France, Germany, Turkey, Ireland, Arab League and European Union have condemned the Israeli attack on the humanitarian aid activists.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouch said he was “profoundly shocked” at the killings. The European Union's Foreign Policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has called on Israeli authorities to launch a 'full inquiry' into the killing.
Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was 'deeply concerned about the events last night in the waters off Gaza... these are disconcerting initial reports.'
Turkey's foreign ministry warned of 'irreparable consequences' after the incident. Some of the ships were sailing under Turkish flags and media reports indicate that Turkish nationals are among the dead.
'By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives. We strongly condemn these inhumane practices of Israel,' the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin has already expressed “grave concern” following Israel’s massacre with eight Irish nationals among the passengers. 'The reports of up to 15 people killed and 50 injured, if confirmed, would constitute a totally unacceptable response by the Israeli military to what was a humanitarian mission attempting to deliver much needed supplies to the people of Gaza,' Martin said.
The Arab League will be holding an emergency meeting on June 1 on the killings.
The humanitarian flotilla of eight ships was carrying 10,000 tons of aid which is attempting to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The Muslim News has provided the list of British citizens on Mavi Marmara where the Israeli raid took place and 19 of the passengers killed: Laura Macdonald Stuart, Ebrahim Musaji, Jamal Sayed, Parveen Yaqub, Baboo Adem Zanghar, Ahsan Shamruk, Mustafa Cengiz Ahmet, Tauqir Sharif, Boudjema Bounoua, Mohammad Bounoua, Sakir Yildirim, Kenneth O’Keefe, Ali El-Awaisi, Mohammed Bhaiyat, Lort Phillips Alexandra Mary, Sarah Nancy Colborne, Ismail Adam Patel, Nader Daher, Mahi Mohammed Abid,
Nur-E-Azom Choudhury, Ovenden Kevin, Peter Venner, Clifford Gardner Hanley, Muzzammil Layth Chogley, Jamaluddin Mohammad Farid Elshayyal, Hassan Al Banna Ghani, Lazrag Salah, Ali Altan,

There will be a peaceful protest outside 10 Downing Street at 2pm today against the British Government’s silence over the killings and calling on the Government for an “immediate intervention”.
Another demonstration is being held in Manchester at the BBC on Oxford Road at 5pm. 

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