Aletho News


Irish aid boat holds course towards Gaza despite Israel warning

June 2, 2010

The final boat in the Gaza aid flotilla was sailing at full speed towards the territory’s coast tonight despite warnings that it would be intercepted by Israeli forces.

The MV Rachel Corrie, a 40-year-old cargo ship bought by the Irish arm of the Free Gaza Movement, was delayed and avoided capture during Monday night’s assault. Tonight it was still in international waters about two days from Gaza, carrying a consignment of aid and 19 activists and crew, among them five Irish nationals, the organisation said.

The Irish taoiseach, Brian Cowen, warned Israel tonight that he expected no violence against those on the Rachel Corrie.

“If any harm comes to any of our citizens it will have the most serious consequences,” he said, calling on Israel to guarantee the vessel safe passage through the military blockade of Gaza.

The ship, named after the 23-year-old American killed in Gaza in 2003 while trying to prevent an Israeli bulldozer demolishing a Palestinian home, had halted in the Mediterranean following the assault while those on board – among them the Nobel peace laureate Máiread Maguire and Denis Halliday, a retired senior UN diplomat – discussed whether they should continue.

It was now carrying as a “second wave” of the flotilla, said Niamh Moloughney, who organised the sailing in Ireland.

“I’d say the mood on board is resilient and steadfast. When people signed up to this they knew what might happen,” said Moloughney. “We expected we would be confronted and there would be a stand-off, but no one expected this. But there’s never really been a question of the boat turning back.”

As well as the Irish nationals, the 1,200-tonne boat is carrying six Malaysians and eight crew of varying nationalities.

All those on board had received training in non-violent resistance before the sailing and had pledged not to fight back if the boat was boarded, Moloughney added.

Speaking on the boat’s satellite phone, Maguire said she was determined the boat should continue on its course.

“We’re not frightened, no, we hope the Israeli government will allow us to go freely in and we know the international community are calling for our safe passage,” she said.

Halliday said he had spoken to Ireland’s foreign minister, Micheál Martin. “He was very reassuring that the government was behind us and he gave us a complete green light to do what we’re doing and he’ll protect us as much as he can,” Halliday said.

Martin himself told parliament: “We will be watching this situation very closely – as indeed will the world – and it is imperative that Israel avoid any action which leads to further bloodshed.”

It appeared clear, however, that Israel planned to stop the ship.

The country’s military was carrying out “professional investigations” into what happened in Monday’s raid, an Israeli marine lieutenant, who was not identified, told Israel’s Army Radio. He added: “And we will also be ready for the Rachel Corrie.”The boat, which was bought at auction by the Free Gaza Movement after being impounded a year before in Dundalk, is carrying a consignment including medical equipment, wheelchairs, school supplies and cement, according to the organisation.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Irish aid boat holds course towards Gaza despite Israel warning

Israeli Murders, NATO and Afghanistan

By Craig Murray on 02.06.2010

I was in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 20 years and a member of its senior management structure for six years, I served in five countries and took part in 13 formal international negotiations, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and a whole series of maritime boundary treaties. I headed the FCO section of a multidepartmental organisation monitoring the arms embargo on Iraq.

I am an instinctively friendly, open but unassuming person who always found it easy to get on with people, I think because I make fun of myself a lot. I have in consequence a great many friends among ex-colleagues in both British and foreign diplomatic services, security services and militaries.

I lost very few friends when I left the FCO over torture and rendition. In fact I seemed to gain several degrees of warmth with a great many acquaintances still on the inside. And I have become known as a reliable outlet for grumbles, who as an ex-insider knows how to handle a discreet and unintercepted conversation.

What I was being told last night was very interesting indeed. NATO HQ in Brussels is today a very unhappy place. There is a strong understanding among the various national militaries that an attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged – legally obliged, as a matter of treaty – to react.

I must be plain – nobody wants or expects military action against Israel. But there is an uneasy recognition that in theory that ought to be on the table, and that NATO is obliged to do something robust to defend Turkey.

Mutual military support of each other is the entire raison d’etre of NATO. You must also remember that to the NATO military the freedom of the high seas guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a vital alliance interest which officers have been conditioned to uphold their whole career.

That is why Turkey was extremely shrewd in reacting immediately to the Israeli attack by calling an emergency NATO meeting. It is why, after the appalling US reaction to the attack with its refusal to name Israel, President Obama has now made a point of phoning President Erdogan to condole.

But the unhappiness in NATO HQ runs much deeper than that, I spoke separately to two friends there, from two different nations. One of them said NATO HQ was “a very unhappy place”. The other described the situation as “Tense – much more strained than at the invasion of Iraq”.

Why? There is a tendency of outsiders to regard the senior workings of governments and international organisations as monolithic. In fact there are plenty of highly intelligent – and competitive – people and diverse interests involved.

There are already deep misgivings, especially amongst the military, over the Afghan mission. There is no sign of a diminution in Afghan resistance attacks and no evidence of a clear game-plan. The military are not stupid and they can see that the Karzai government is deeply corrupt and the Afghan “national” army comprised almost exclusively of tribal enemies of the Pashtuns.

You might be surprised by just how high in NATO scepticism runs at the line that in some way occupying Afghanistan helps protect the west, as opposed to stoking dangerous Islamic anger worldwide.

So this is what is causing frost and stress inside NATO. The organisation is tied up in a massive, expensive and ill-defined mission in Afghanistan that many whisper is counter-productive in terms of the alliance aim of mutual defence. Every European military is facing financial problems as a public deficit financing crisis sweeps the continent. The only glue holding the Afghan mission together is loyalty to and support for the United States.

But what kind of mutual support organisation is NATO when members must make decades long commitments, at huge expense and some loss of life, to support the Unted States, but cannot make even a gesture to support Turkey when Turkey is attacked by a non-member?

Even the Eastern Europeans have not been backing the US line on the Israeli attack. The atmosphere in NATO on the issue has been very much the US against the rest, with the US attitude inside NATO described to me by a senior NATO officer as “amazingly arrogant – they don’t seem to think it matters what anybody else thinks”.

Therefore what is troubling the hearts and souls of non-Americans in NATO HQ is this fundamental question. Is NATO genuinely a mutual defence organisation, or is it just an instrument to carry out US foreign policy? With its unthinking defence of Israel and military occupation of Afghanistan, is US foreign policy really defending Europe, or is it making the World less safe by causing Islamic militancy?

I leave the last word to one of the senior NATO officers – who incidentally is not British:
“Nobody but the Americans doubts the US position on the Gaza attack is wrong and insensitve. But everyone already quietly thought the same about wider American policy. This incident has allowed people to start saying that now privately to each other.”

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | 2 Comments

Organizers: Freedom Flotilla 2 in a few weeks

Ma’an – 02/06/2010

Gaza – The Brussels-based European campaign against the siege on Gaza announced Wednesday that they had secured funds to support three new aid ships to be sailed to Gaza.

The fleet will be called the Freedom 2, which head of the campaign Arafat Madhi said would be “much bigger than the first,” which included nationals from some 40 nations and 10,000 tons of aid, currently held by Israel following the takeover of six ships in international waters on Monday morning.

“Following the massacre committed by Israeli forces against solidarity activists on board the Freedom Flotilla in international waters, there have been increasing calls by Arab, Islamic, and European countries to launch a new aid fleet much bigger than the first one. This is a clear challenge by the free people of the world in the face of Israel’s arrogance,” Madhi said.

The officials aid the ships would sail in a few weeks’ time from ports in Turkey, whose Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed his country’s support, including aid contributions, for the flotilla.

During a televised speech Tuesday, Erdogan said future flotillas bound for Gaza territorial waters under Israeli threat would be accompanied by a military escort to ensure their safety.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | 1 Comment

Defending Israel: A How-To Guide

By Eli Clifton | Lobe Log | June 1st, 2010

Today’s op-ed by the Wall Street Journal editorial board offers a fairly comprehensive list of the talking points which are de rigueur in defending Israel’s attack on civilian ships in international water.

1.) Mention the Gaza war in 2008 as an example of what happens when weapons get into Gaza.

Example from the WSJ:

Since [Hamas seized power in 2007], both Israel and Egypt have imposed a partial blockade on the Strip, mainly to prevent Hamas from arming itself with the kinds of weapons it used to spark a war with Israel in December 2008.

It’s interesting that Israel should bring up the Gaza war as an example of Hamas viciousness.  This was a war where between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinians were killed and 13 Israelis died.  It’s hard to argue that Israel’s response to Hamas’s “spark” was proportional but we’ll talk about proportionality later.

2.) Emphasize that food, water and other necessary supplies enter Gaza on a daily basis through Israeli checkpoints.

Example from the WSJ:

Food, medicine and electricity continue to flow to Gaza.

World Health Organization reports have found that Israel is blocking vital medical supplies from entering Gaza and that building a well-functioning health care system is impossible without the regular delivery of supplies. Furthermore, mortality rates are 30-percent higher in Gaza than in Palestinian populations in the West Bank and chronic malnutrition is now over 10-percent. As to electricity, the UN’s Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on May 9th that:

“(A)lmost all of the 1.4 million Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip, with the exception of those who live in the Rafah area, must cope with scheduled electricity cuts of 8-12 hours daily, compared to 6-8 hours prior to January 2010.

These power cuts exacerbate the already difficult living conditions in Gaza and disrupt almost all aspects of daily life, including household chores, health services, education and water and sanitation services.”

3.) Claim that the international community is biased against Israel, denies Israel its sovereign right to defend itself and constantly complains about Israel’s “disproportional” use of force.  If possible, belittle the concept of proportionality.

Example from the WSJ:

The Gaza war also elicited international protests against Israel, which time and again is told what it can do in its own self-defense, with its critics deeming nearly every effective military action “disproportionate”.

It is true that Israel is frequently accused of using disproportionate force.  From the wildly disproportionate death toll in the Gaza war to the killing of nine human rights activists this weekend, there is no shortage of Israeli disproportionality.

But none of that matters if you argue that disproportionality works and that discussions about “proportionality” are a waste of time.

Editorial writers and bloggers have been busy dusting off the argument that a disproportionate response is the only way to deal with terrorists that threaten our western values.

(I blogged earlier today about Michael Rubin’s defense of Israel’s disproportional use of force.)

4.) Insist that the IDF was just defending itself against an armed, bloodthirsty mob.

Example from the WSJ:

It was only after the humanitarians aboard the ship assaulted the commandos with clubs and knives that the Israelis used live fire. If the Internet videos of the commandos being viciously attacked as they descended from a helicopter are accurate, they were acting to defend themselves.

This characterization of events totally ignores the context in which the raid and the shooting of nine flotilla members occurred.

The IDF commandos had to fly seventy miles offshore, into international waters, before rappelling onto a Turkish- flagged passenger ship.  Then, when not greeted with open arms, they shot nine people dead.  An ambush would suggest that the Israelis were tricked into boarding the ships. No account of the events from either flotilla members or the IDF suggests that this was the case.  Israel attacked a ship sailing in international waters. At what point did those aboard the vessel forfeit their own right of self-defense?

Craig Murray, a human rights activist and former British ambassador to Uzbekistan writes:

A word on the legal position, which is very plain. To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare.

Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody’s territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory.

There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.

Possibility one is that the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships. In that case Israel is in a position of war with Turkey, and the act falls under international jurisdiction as a war crime.

Possibility two is that, if the killings were not authorized Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction. If Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.

In brief, if Israel and Turkey are not at war, then it is Turkish law which is applicable to what happened on the ship. It is for Turkey, not Israel, to carry out any inquiry or investigation into events and to initiate any prosecutions. Israel is obliged to hand over indicted personnel for prosecution.

5.) Set the stage for future conflicts which will derail the peace process.

Example from the WSJ:

We suppose Israel could have allowed the flotilla to pass to avoid the political fallout it is now enduring.  Had it done so, however, it would have merely created a channel through which Hamas could be supplied with ever-more advanced weaponry (much of it courtesy of Iran) thus setting the stage for an even bloodier war in Gaza.

Israel knows exactly what risk it runs when it commits provocative acts such as the recent raid on the flotilla.  Editorial writers and sympathetic journalists dutifully repeat the message that the Palestinian response to Israel “defending itself” could lead to a “new Intifada”.  What better way to derail peace talks than to provoke violence before the parties have even gotten to the table?

The pressure is on Netanyahu to cease settlement expansion and make a meaningful attempt to negotiate borders and security arrangements with Hamas.  Pressure from the White House might be difficult to completely ignore, but, with a loyal group of sympathetic journalists and bloggers, Netanyahu can try to drown out the voices of his international critics.  That’s as long as his friends in the media stick to their talking points.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | Comments Off on Defending Israel: A How-To Guide

Reporters Without Borders: 15 journalists still missing

Ma’an – 02/06/2010

Bethlehem – Reporters Without Borders is urging the Israeli authorities to release a list of the journalists who were arrested during Monday’s raid on the humanitarian flotilla and to say where they are being held.

There were at least 15 foreign journalists travelling with the flotilla who still cannot be reached directly, the Paris-based media watchdog said. These are the names of the journalists known to have been aboard the flotilla:

• Reporter Svetoslav Ivanov and cameraman Valentin Vassilev of Bulgarian television station BTV
• Muna Shester of the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
• Talat Hussain, a presenter with Pakistan’s Aaj TV
• Sydney Morning Herald correspondent Paul McGeough and photographer Kate Geraghty
• Al Jazeera correspondent Abbas Nasser and cameraman Isaam Zaatar
• Mario Damolin, a freelancer working for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
• David Segarra of TeleSUR
• Reporter Ayse Sarioglu of the daily Taraf
• Reporter Murat Palavar of the Islamist daily Yeni Safak (New Dawn)
• TVNET foreign news chief Sümeyye Ertekin, producer Ümit Sönmez and cameraman Ersin Esen

An Al Jazeera TV crew was meanwhile attacked by Israeli citizens in the port of Ashdod Monday after the Israeli defense minister gave a news conference about the attack on the flotilla. Walid Al-Omri, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in the Palestinian territories, was injured in the attack, which followed virulent criticism of the Qatar-based TV station in the Israeli media.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | 2 Comments

World Council of Churches condemns flotilla raid

Ma’an – 02/06/2010

Bethlehem – The World Council of Churches has condemned the Israeli naval raid on a Gaza-bound vessel carrying humanitarian aid in international waters before dawn Monday that killed at least 10 civilians and injured more. Several soldiers were also hurt.

“We condemn the assault and killing of innocent people who were attempting to deliver humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, who have been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007,” WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit stated Tuesday.

“We further condemn the flagrant violation of international law by Israel in attacking and boarding a humanitarian convoy in international waters. We pray for all those who are affected by the attack, especially the bereaved families,” Tveit said.

An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

Tveit urged Israel to repatriate those detained from the flotilla and “for an immediate release of the impounded ships, and an end to the economic blockade of Gaza. It is our considered opinion that the legitimate humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza be met in accordance with international humanitarian law. We further call the UN Security Council to mandate a full investigation into the assault.”

Tveit concluded: “The deplorable events which occurred yesterday off the coast of Gaza remind us yet again of the pressing need for an end to the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories. The World Council of Churches reiterates its commitment to work for just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | 3 Comments

Israeli MP’s Terror on Aid Ship: ‘Plan Was to Kill Activists’

By Jonathan Cook – June 2, 2010

An Arab member of the Israeli parliament who was on board the international flotilla that was attacked on Monday as it tried to take humanitarian aid to Gaza accused Israel yesterday of intending to kill peace activists as a way to deter future convoys.

Haneen Zoubi said Israeli naval vessels had surrounded the flotilla’s flagship, the Mavi Marmara, and fired on it a few minutes before commandos abseiled from a helicopter directly above them.

Terrified passengers had been forced off the deck when water was sprayed at them. She said she was not aware of any provocation or resistance by the passengers, who were all unarmed.

She added that within minutes of the raid beginning, three bodies had been brought to the main room on the upper deck in which she and most other passengers were confined. Two had gunshot wounds to the head, in what she suggested had been executions.

Two other passengers slowly bled to death in the room after Israeli soldiers ignored messages in Hebrew she had held up at the window calling for medical help to save them. She said she saw seven other passengers seriously wounded.

“Israel had days to plan this military operation,” she told a press conference in Nazareth. “They wanted many deaths to terrorise us and to send a message that no future aid convoys should try to break the siege of Gaza.”

Released early yesterday by police, apparently because of her parliamentary immunity, she said she was speaking out while most of the hundreds of other peace activists were either being held by Israel for deportation or were under arrest.

Three other leaders of Israel’s large Palestinian Arab minority, including Sheikh Raed Salah, a spiritual leader, were arrested as their ships docked in the southern port of Ashdod. Lawyers said that under Israeli law they could be held and questioned for up to 30 days without being charged.

Contradicting Israeli claims, Ms Zoubi said a search by the soldiers after they took control of the Marmara discovered no arms or other weapons.

It was vital, she added, that the world demand an independent UN inquiry to find out what had happened on the ship rather than allow Israel to carry out a “whitewash” with its own military investigation.

Ms Zoubi spoke as Palestinians inside both Israel and the occupied territories observed a general strike called by their leaders. A statement from the High Follow-Up Committee, the main political body for Israel’s Palestinian citizens, described the raid on the flotilla as “state-sponsored terrorism”.

Demonstrations and marches in most of the main Palestinian towns and villages in Israel passed off quietly. Local analysts described the mood as angry but subdued, not least because of the openly hostile climate that has developed towards Palestinian citizens since crackdowns on their protests during the Israeli attack on Gaza 18 months ago.

However, police were reported to have been put on high alert, with thousands of extra officers drafted into the north, where most Palestinian citizens live.

On Monday, clashes between protesters and police broke out close to the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the northern town of Umm al Fahm after false rumours circulated that Sheikh Salah, the leader of Israel’s main Islamic Movement, had been killed in the Israeli naval operation.

Even before the attack on the flotilla, the country’s Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population, had been braced for a backlash from the government and Jewish public for its leaders’ participation in the flotilla. As the ships set sail, Ynet, Israel’s most popular news website, had asked whether Ms Zoubi was an “MP in the service of Hamas”.

But faced with the severe diplomatic fall-out from Israel’s killing of peace activists, Israel’s Palestinian leaders warned that they were likely to come under even fiercer criticism in coming days.

Yesterday right-wing parties launched their first attacks on Ms Zoubi, demanding the revocation of her immunity and her expulsion from the parliament. Danny Danon, a member of the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, called for her to be “tried for treason”.

In her statement on the attack, Ms Zoubi said that at 4am on Monday she had seen at least 14 Israeli boats surround their ship 130km out at sea, in international waters.

She said the passengers had been gripped with fear at the noise and confusion as the commandos abseiled on to the deck. “I did not believe we were going to survive more than five minutes,” she said.

Taleb al Sana, another Arab MP, supported Ms Zoubi’s contention that Israeli claims that the commandos shot only at the passengers’ legs were false. “I have visited the wounded in hospital and they all have shot wounds to the head and body,” he said.

Adalah, a legal centre for Israel’s Arab minority, said nine lawyers had been given limited access yesterday afternoon to the hundreds of activists detained in the southern city of Beersheva and were trying to take testimonies “in very difficult circumstances”.

Its lawyers and human rights groups were also trying to track down who had been injured and where they being treated.

“Our view is that Israel is intentionally trying to obstruct this work and is enforcing an information blackout,” said Gaby Rubin, a spokeswoman for Adalah.

– Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | Comments Off on Israeli MP’s Terror on Aid Ship: ‘Plan Was to Kill Activists’

Settlers torch hundreds of Nablus olive trees

Ma’an – June 2, 2010

Nablus – Residents of the illegal Yitzhar settlement set fire to more than 100 dunums of Palestinian lands near Urif village, southwest of Nablus on Wednesday afternoon, Palestinian officials said.

Local official in charge of the settlements file in the northern West Bank Ghasan Daghlas said the fire was set in the Jabal Marwes area, the hill separating the villages of URif and Asira Al-Qaliya, into which Yitzhar’s “municipal area” extends.

“The settlers had set fire to the area, and it spread across a large swath of agricultural land,” Daghlas said.

When Palestinians saw the fire, dozens rushed to put it out, Daghlas continued, but said hundreds of almond and olive trees were destroyed.

“Clashes broke out between the Palestinians and the settlers who had lit the fire,” Daghas said, and Israeli forces used tear gas to disperse the fight.

The fields, village official Fawzi Shaehada said, belong to Mohammad Salamh A’mer As-Aafadi from Urif.

An Israeli military official said a fight broke out in a “disputed area” between what she estimated was 50 Palestinians and Yitzhar residents, where “mutual rock throwing” took place. She said Israeli border police dispersed the fight and noted no arrests.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | 7 Comments

Japanese PM resigns amid US military base row

Press TV – June 2, 2010

Yukio Hatoyama was Japan’s fourth prime minister in four years.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama who took power less than nine months ago following a landslide victory has announced his resignation.

Hatoyama, 63, announced the decision on Wednesday at a special parliamentary meeting of lawmakers from his Democratic Party of Japan, AFP reported.

“The government’s work has not reflected the public’s wishes,” the Japanese premier said.

Hatoyama further added that he had also asked party heavyweight and secretary general Ichiro Ozawa to quit.

The Japanese prime minister was forced out as his poll ratings plummeted after he broke an election promise to move an unpopular US military base off the southern island of Okinawa. The move angered the people of Okinawa who have long been complaining about base-related noise, pollution and crime.

“I have caused trouble for the people of Okinawa,” Hatoyama said.

“We will need to make efforts to move the US base outside of Okinawa. But the result was that we could not deliver,” he further explained.

After months of tensions, Tokyo and Washington announced in a statement last week that the US base would be moved, as first agreed in 2006, from a crowded urban area to a coastal region of Okinawa. The move infuriated Okinawans as many want the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station moved off the island entirely.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | Comments Off on Japanese PM resigns amid US military base row

Nicaragua cuts ties with Israel

Ma’an/Agencies – 02/06/2010

The Nicaraguan government Tuesday suspended the country’s diplomatic ties with Israel in protest of Israel’s deadly raid on the Gaza-bound international aid flotilla on Monday, various media outlets reported.

Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo, who is wife of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, announced the move in a short statement, the Chinese Xinhua news agency reported.

“Nicaragua suspends from today its diplomatic relations with the government of Israel,” said the statement.

The Nicaraguan government “emphasized the illegal nature of the attack on a humanitarian mission in clear violation of international and humanitarian law,” it added.

The move comes as Turkish-Israel relations hit an all time low, with at least 16 countries calling in Israeli ambassadors.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday called for an independent probe into the attack, which saw at least 10 activists killed by Israeli forces after they intercepted the Gaza-bound aid boat in international waters.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | 10 Comments