Russia condemns Israel over Gaza flotilla attack
Russia's Foreign Ministry criticized on Monday an Israeli raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in which at least 10 people were killed.
A statement on the ministry website said Russia expressed "condemnation and deep concern" over the incident and called for a full investigation.
The ministry also called the use of "weapons against citizens and the seizing of ships in open waters with no legal grounds a gross violation of commonly accepted international legal norms."
It also said the events proved the "necessity to halt the Gaza blockade."
The international community, presidential administrations and other leaders also strongly condemned the attack calling for an end to the Gaza blockade.
Arab media said 16 people were killed and more than 30 injured when the Israeli military stormed the six-ship Freedom Flotilla carrying some 10,000 tons of aid to Gaza and 600 human rights activists earlier on Monday.
The Israeli Army's press service confirmed the deaths of more than 10 people, adding that four Israeli commandos had been injured in the attack.
Media said that Turkish, U.S., British, Australian, Greek, Canadian, Malaysian, Algerian, Serbian, Belgian, Irish, Norwegian, Swedish and German citizens were on board of the vessels.
Israel, which has enforced an almost constant blockade against Gaza since the radical Islamic group Hamas took control of the enclave in summer 2007, earlier called the mission a "provocation" and threatened to intercept the ships and deport those onboard.
[Source: Ria Novosti, Moscow, 31May10]
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