10 Killed as Israelis Storm Gaza Aid Ships

Dozens of mostly Turkish protesters injured
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2010 3:01 AM CDT
Updated May 31, 2010 5:00 AM CDT
10 Killed as Israelis Storm Gaza Aid Ships
Israeli medics carry an injured soldier on a stretcher following clashes between the Israeli military and pro-Palestinian activists aboard an aid flotilla headed to Gaza.   (AP Photo/Shay Vaknin)

At least 10 pro-Palestinian activists were killed and dozens injured early today when Israeli troops stormed ships laden with aid for Gaza. The troops clashed with some 600 mostly Turkish protesters who confronted soldiers attempting to halt the 6-ship flotilla in international waters. The convoy was attempting to deliver aid through an Israeli blockade. Turkey blasted Israel's "inhumane practices" in a statement following the attack, and dozens of protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul.

A spokeswoman for the Free Gaza movement said protesters were on board to offer "symbolic resistance such as physically blocking the steering room so that they couldn't get taken over." But an Israeli official said "people were very, very violent toward the soldiers" and attacked them with knives. Israel had vowed to stop the boats, calling the campaign a "provocation intended to delegitimize Israel," reports the BBC. Israeli government minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer expressed his "sorrow over all the deaths." (More Israel stories.)

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