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Report: At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla PDF Print E-mail
May 31, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Haaretz

31.05.10

Over 60 pro-Palestinian campaigners wounded after aid convoy sailing for Gaza Strip ignored Israel's order to turn back, Turkish news reports. IDF confirms two commandos also wounded.

By Anshel Pfeffer, Avi Issacharoff, The Associated Press and Reuters

Israel Navy troops opened fire on pro-Palestinian activists aboard a six-ship aid flotilla sailing for the Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 and wounding several others after the convoy ignored orders to turn back, Turkey's NTV reported early Monday.

NTV said between 10 and 15 people were killed, with over 60 wounded.

The IDF also confirmed that two navy commandos had been wounded in fight, which apparently broke out after activists tried to sieze their weapons.

According to the army, commandos who stormed the Turkish ferry Marmara, the largest vessel in the convoy, encountered violent resistance by activists armed with sticks and knives.

Earlier Monday, Al Jazeera reported that the Gaza aid flotilla had changed course to avoid a confrontation with Israeli warships.

The Israeli naval vessels reportedly made contact earlier with the six-ship flotilla, which is carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza.

The Israeli navy was operating under the assumption that the activists manning the boats would not heed their calls to turn around, and Israeli troops were prepared to board the ships and steer them away from the Gaza shores and toward the Israeli port city of Ashdod.

Huwaida Arraf, one of the flotilla organizers, said the six-ship flotilla began the journey from international waters off the coast of Cyprus Sunday afternoon after two days of delays. According to organizers, the flotilla was expected to reach Gaza, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) away, on Monday afternoon, and two more ships would follow in a second wave.

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