SP demands UN enquiry into Israeli attack

31 May 2010

SP demands UN enquiry into Israeli attack

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel expressed his shock over the attack on the aid convoy to Gaza carried out by international waters by the Israeli navy. “It is unthinkable that this has happened,” said Van Bommel, the party's foreign affairs spokesman. “What began as a just action of support for a people, the people of Gaza, being starved out, has become a tragedy. I urge our foreign minister to put pressure on Israel to allow the aid goods to pass. In addition an independent enquiry is needed, preferably to be carried out by the UN.”

Israeli troops storm Turkish aid ship 'Mavi Marmara' Photo AFP/ Cihan News Agency

A fleet of at least six ships which was on the way from Cyprus to Gaza was attacked by the Israeli navy, and a large number of peace activists were killed, with current estimates stating that as many as sixteen may have lost their lives and dozens been wounded. The ships were attempting to break through a blockade which has been imposed on Gaza for several years. Last week there seemed a possibility that Israel would lead the ships into one of its own ports, sending the people on board back while allowing the goods through to Gaza.

The precise circumstances surrounding the events are unclear, but as Van Bommel points out, “at the very least there seems to have been disproportionate violence from the Israeli side. An international independent enquiry is for that reason necessary, conducted for example by the UN. I urge our foreign minister Maxime Verhagen to put pressure on to bring this about. Moreover, the goods must be allowed into Gaza and the blockade of the enclave lifted.”

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