News / Middle East

UN Security Council Holds Emergency Session on Israeli Raid

Margaret Besheer

The U.N. Security Council met in emergency session Monday on how to respond after Israeli commandos intercepted a ship carrying humanitarian aid in international waters and killed at least nine pro-Palestinian activists.  

The 15-member council convened an emergency session at the request of members Lebanon and Turkey.  

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who traveled from South America for the meeting, criticized Israel, calling the Israeli Defense Forces' actions "tantamount to banditry and piracy."

"It is murder conducted by a state," said  Ahmet Davutoglu. "It has no excuses, no justification whatsoever.  A nation-state that follows this path has lost its legitimacy as a respectful member of the international community."

Davutoglu said Israel's explanation that its military acted in self-defense does not justify its actions.  He called Israeli use of force "inappropriate and disproportionate," and said the actions of protestors on the ship did not absolve Israel of its duties under international law.

"To treat humanitarian aid delivery as a hostile act and to treat the aid workers as combatants is a reflection of a dangerous state of mind with detrimental effects to regional and global peace," he said. "Therefore, the Israeli actions cannot be deemed legal or legitimate.  Any attempt to legitimize the attack is futile."

The aid ships, carrying about 700 pro-Palestinian activists and 10,000 tons of supplies, headed for Gaza on Sunday.  They defied several warnings from the Israeli navy not to approach the Palestinian territory by sea and instructions to deliver their cargo to the Israeli port of Ashdod where authorities would inspect it and deliver it to Gaza.

The flotilla of six ships was led by the Turkish vessel, Mavi Marmara, which was in international waters off of Israel when the commandos intercepted it, boarding it from helicopters.

At the open Security Council session, members strongly condemned the violence and called for an investigation into the events.  They also urged the immediate and unconditional release of the protesters who are citizens of 32 countries.  After the session, members moved to a closed meeting to consider possible action.

Nearly all of the council members called for an immediate lifting of the Israeli blockade that has prevented many goods from reaching Gaza's 1.5 million residents since Hamas took over the territory in 2007.

Israel's deputy U.N. Ambassador Daniel Carmon dismissed the situation in Gaza, telling the council that "no humanitarian crisis" exists there.  As for the incident aboard the ship, he said Israel regretted the loss of lives but he denounced the activists, saying they were not there to deliver humanitarian aid, but to make a political statement and that they tried to "lynch" the Israeli soldiers who intervened, using knives and clubs.

"The answer is clear," said Daniel Carmon. "There [sic] are not peace activists; they were not messengers of goodwill.  They cynically used the guise of humanitarian aid to send a message of hate and to implement violence."

Israel's staunch ally, the United States, said it was "deeply disturbed" by the violence and regretted the loss of life.  But Deputy U.N. Ambassador Alejandro Wolff also appeared to criticize the protesters, saying that there are other mechanisms for delivering aid to Gaza and that direct delivery by sea was neither "appropriate nor responsible" under the circumstances.

In comments in Africa, where he is traveling, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the violence and called for a full investigation to determine exactly how the events unfolded.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid