UN Backs Israel Blockade, But Faults Deadly Raid

Report criticizes 'excessive' violence that killed nine on ship
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2011 5:54 PM CDT
UN Backs Israel Blockade, But Faults Deadly Raid
In this May 30, 2010, file photo, Turkish activists wear life jackets after receiving information of approaching of Israeli military ships.   (AP Photo/Anatolia, Erhan Sevenler, File)

(Newser) – Israel has won a partial vindication from the UN in a report about its deadly raid on a Turkish flotilla last year that left nine activists dead. The report says Israel was within its rights to create a blockade of Gaza and to intercept ships at sea to enforce it, reports the New York Times. But it faulted Israeli commandos for using "excessive and unreasonable" violence when they boarded the main Turkish ship and shot activists.

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The report will be officially released tomorrow, and Turkey and Israel already have voiced objections to its conclusions and say it will make mending diplomatic ties harder. Turkey has demanded a full apology—as recently as today, notes the Jerusalem Post—but Benjamin Netanyahu has said he isn't willing to go that far. In the world of diplmo-speak, he is willing to offer only a lesser statement of regret. Eight of the nine victims were Turkish, and the other was an American of Turkish descent. (Read more Israel stories.)

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