UN Slams Israel's 'Brutal, Illegal' Flotilla Raid
Raid 'betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2010 4:00 AM CDT
This photo made from video provided by the Israeli Defense Force shows what the IDF says is one of several commandos being dropped onto the Mavi Marmara ship.   (AP Photo/Israel Defense Force, File)

(Newser) – A United Nations-appointed panel has strongly condemned the deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla of ships trying to break the Gaza blockade. The raid, which left nine activists dead, "betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality," the UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded. The panel found that there was ample evidence to support prosecutions against Israel for "willful killing," the BBC reports.

The Israeli military's conduct constituted "grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law," the UN panel's report states. Israel, which says its soldiers were acting in self-defense during the May raid, denounced the report, labeling it "as biased and as one-sided as the body that has produced it." Israel's own probe into the raid is nearing completion.