Netanyahu: Attack was self defense

Israel's Prime Minister claims aid ship passengers beat, clubbed and stabbed Israeli soldiers


Rob Gillies
May 31, 2010 9:59PM (UTC)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says commandos who raided a Gaza aid flotilla, killing nine and injuring dozens of others, were under attack and acting in self defense.

Netanyahu spoke after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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The Israeli leader was cutting short his visit in Canada Monday and canceling a visit planned Tuesday with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington so that he could return home.

Netanyahu says Israel wanted to check the cargo to ensure it contained no weapons.

He says this was done successfully with five ships, but the sixth did not cooperate.

He says hundreds of people on board that ship beat, clubbed and stabbed soldiers, and there was a report of gunfire. He says that forced soldiers to attack.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli police say 16 pro-Palestinian activists from a Gaza-bound flotilla have been sent to jail after a deadly confrontation at sea. Dozens of other activists are to be deported.

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Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the activists were taken ashore and were jailed in the southern desert town of Beersheba after refusing to identify themselves.

Israeli naval commandos stopped the six-ship flotilla early Monday, setting off a fierce clash that killed nine activists.

Israel has said it will deport the roughly 700 activists in the flotilla. But those who refuse to cooperate will be jailed. About 80 activists have been brought to shore so far.


Rob Gillies

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Israel United Nations U.s. House Of Representatives U.s. Military U.s. Senate

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