Gaza Aid Flotilla Raided by Israeli Soldiers

Israeli helicopter
Flickr Photo by Normann
At least 10 people are dead in international waters out Gaza after Israeli soldiers raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla and gunfire broke out.

The boats were approaching Gaza "in defiance of an Israeli blockade," according to CNN and "had been shadowed by three Israeli warships."

Israel imposed the Gaza blockade in 2007. Detractors, including the UN, say the blockade denies Palestinians vital goods and services, though Israel insists the blockade allows enough aid to pass and is only designed to cease the smuggle of arms into the region.

On Sunday, the Israeli navy had contacted Free Gaza, the humanitarian group bringing the aid, to let them know they planned to board the ships. Five Israeli soldiers were also wounded.


According to CNN:

"Israel claimed it was defending itself, with the Israel Defense Forces saying the soldiers' lives were in danger after they were attacked with 'severe physical violence, including live fire, weapons, knives and clubs.'" 

Meanwhile, the international community has condemned the action and many are calling for an investigation. Even the White House issued a statement:

"(The United States) deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy," said White House spokesman Bill Burton.

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