Monday morning Israel was doing surveillance on the Mediterranean Sea when Defense Forces was attack while investigating one of six small ships heading to Gaza City, in the West Bank. Ten people were killed.
The six ships towards heading to Gaza City were searched by the IDF. On one of the ship as the members of the IDF began searching the ship were ambushed by the crew and the so-called guests of the humanitarian mission with clubs, knives and guns. The IDF soldiers were hit stabbed and shot at. The soldiers fired back with paint guns at first.
The attack was bloody. The IDF officers ask their mission leader to used armed weapons. He granted their request.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled his trip to Washington, DC to meet President Obama.
Netanyahu defended the action of the IDF as self-defense. The prime minister contacted President Obama and relayed the events in a phone call on Monday.
“The president expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals,” the statement read. “The president also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible.”
“I fully support the IDF action,” said Netanyahu. He explained to reporters after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Israel needed to check the cargo that the flotilla was bringing to Gaza, to ensure it contained no weapons. This had been done successfully with five ships, but the sixth had not cooperated, said Netanyahu.
In New York at the United Nations Security Council members roundly condemn the Israeli action.
International leaders also spoke out harshly. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “I am shocked by reports of killing of people in boats carrying supply to Gaza. I heard the ships were in international waters. That is very bad.” He called for a “thorough investigation.”
The EU blasted the actions of Israel Defense Forces:
The European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, called on Israel to launch an investigation into the incident. Spain, which holds the EU presidency, said Israel’s storming of the flotilla was “unacceptable.”
Word of the ambush spread quickly; Turkey condemn Israel and recalled it ambassador from Tel Avi. Greece and Turkey canceled joint military exercises with Israel.
There were protests at Israeli Embassies in Paris and London shouting
Many in the throng shouted, “Israel, assassin!” and “We are all Palestinians,” while youths near the front sought to break through a police line. There were angry protests in London as well.
Other protest were held throughout Europe and the Middle east including, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Pakistan and Beruit, Lebannon.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said,“Israel is a sovereign state and cannot accept any challenge to its sovereignty.” “This is not the first time Israel has stopped ships in international waters. When a ship refuses to accede to warnings and obey instructions, we have the right to board it [under] international law.”
“It’s a big diplomatic crisis,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post. “We are working in emergency mode.”
Ayalon continued, said the flotilla “was an armada of hate and violence,” and added, “It was a premeditated and outrageous provocation.”
“Their intent was violent, their methods were violent and their results were unfortunately violent,” he said.
“Israel regrets the loss of life and did everything it could to avoid this outcome,” said Ayalon, adding that Israel had offered to transport the humanitarian cargo on board the ship to Gaza.
“The organizers on the ship did not heed the calls of our forces this morning to peacefully follow them and bring a peaceful closure to this event,” said Ayalon.
The successful arrival of the flotilla in Gaza would have created “a corridor of arms-smuggling,” he said.