News / Middle East

    UN Panel Says Israel Use of Force 'Excessive' in Gaza Flotilla Raid

    Thousands of pro-Palestinian activists and demonstrators they march towards the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, May 30, 2011 as they  marked the first anniversary of a deadly raid by Israel on a Turkish aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip.
    Thousands of pro-Palestinian activists and demonstrators they march towards the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, May 30, 2011 as they marked the first anniversary of a deadly raid by Israel on a Turkish aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip.

    A long-awaited U.N. panel report on the Israeli raid of a Turkish aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip was leaked Thursday by the New York Times. In it, the panel found that Israel used excessive and unreasonable force during its raid of the Mavi Marmara last year, but concluded that the naval blockade of Gaza is legal under international law.

    The New York Times posted a copy of the 105-page confidential report on its website ahead of its expected release Friday.

    The panel, headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, as well as member from both Turkey and Israel, found that Israeli commandos who boarded the Turkish flagged vessel Mavi Marmara in international waters on May 31, 2010, “without warning or consent” used “substantial force” against the activists on board.

    The panel says the action of the Israeli commandos “seems to us to have been too heavy a response too quickly” and “it was an excessive reaction to the situation.” They conclude that “the operation should have been better planned and differently executed.”

    The flotilla of six ships carrying 600 pro-Palestinian activists set out to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza and deliver medical, educational and construction materials to the Palestinian territory. But the mission turned deadly when Israeli commandos boarded the main ship and nine passengers were killed in the ensuing chaos. The report notes that seven of the dead suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

    The Palmer panel found that Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip does not violate international law and that its forces had the right to stop the ships in international waters in order to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

    Turkey had argued that the naval blockade was illegal and that Israel had no right to stop the ships in international waters.

    U.N. Deputy Spokesman Eduardo del Buey said he could not comment on a leaked report and added that the Secretary-General has yet to receive or read the document. The Israeli U.N. mission said it had no immediate comment, while a call to the Turkish U.N. mission was not immediately returned.

    Relations between Israel and Turkey, once very close, became very strained over the incident, with Ankara recalling its ambassador to Tel Aviv.

    The two countries have been negotiating about some type of apology from Israel and over compensation for the victims, but have been unable to agree. The U.N. panel did recommend that Israel should express regret and compensate the victims.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora