No Human Rights Hearing for Palestinians

The International Criminal Court Refused to hear a case where Palestinians’s human rights were violated by the Israeli military because according to the ICC, Palestine is not a recognized state.


The ICC has refused Palestine’s bid for an investigation into the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza strip on the basis that Palestine is not a recognized state. Human rights groups have strongly criticized the move, while Israel has praised it.

A prosecutor from the International Criminal Court said the investigation would get the go ahead only if the UN or its Security Council recognizes Palestine as a state.

“I need Palestine recognized as a state because I am not the prosecutor of the world; I am the prosecutor of the countries who accept my jurisdiction. I need a country accepting me and then I investigate the crimes,” Luis Moreno-Ocampo told Al Arabiya on Monday.

Israel welcomed the announcement, the Israeli Foreign Minister saying in a statement that “Israel made it clear in the first place that the ICC has no jurisdiction in this matter.”

The Israeli military incursion into Gaza began in winter of 2008, when their forces entered Gaza with the aim of stopping rocket fire into Israel. Palestinian forces continued with their rocket bombardment in return for what they described as Israeli “massacres”.

The war came to an end in January 2009 when Israel declared a ceasefire, Hamas followed suit 12 hours afterwards.

The conflict is estimated to have claimed between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinian lives.

Read Full Article →

Global Peace and Conflict Management: Palestine and Israel Search for Peaceful Co-Existence

by Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
The Real Agenda
January 23, 2012

The Western political leaders and public institutions indulge in rhetoric of peace making but lack the vision, capacity, and courage to take challenging steps to make it happen. It is all politics of peacemaking – an illusion on the screen and not the real peacemaking. To gather people’s attention, they will invent abstract issues and reshape the facts of human history to manipulate the voters and gain cheap favors. Politics is a game of pretension and apprehension, not doing the good for the people with purpose, honesty and clarity of intentions.

To console human mind, the Western leaders and political lobbyists are at least talking in public, but what about the Arab rulers – are they talking? Are they doing anything at all? Do they have the moral, intellectual and visionary leadership capacity to do anything useful for the deprived Palestinians and for themselves?  One would imagine, the Arab rulers being at the helms of oil pumping power, abundance of dollars and influence – they must be equipped to play a significant role in global political affairs. Not so, time and history tell the story otherwise. They are the wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things.

We Palestinians must still reconcile ourselves with our history, and with the perhaps futile sacrifices of the past century. And  we must restore Palestine to its place not simply as a small piece of territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River but an idea that for years galvanized the Arab world into thinking about and fighting for social justice, democracy, and a different kind of future than the one that has been imposed on it by force and by an absence of Arab will.” (Edward W. Said, Peace and its Discontents, 1996)

To discard history and insult knowledge –based global informed minds, recently Mr. Ginrgrich, the Republican Party’s competing candidate  claimed that “ “Palestinian are an invented people.”  Strangely, Gingrich claims to be an historian and educated person being a former Speaker of the Congress, but he played a stupid joke with his informed audience across the US and elsewhere.  The truth is that Gingrich is lying in return for few dollars and a complacent public image to embark on historical deceit. Palestinians have been living in Palestine for centuries. Uptil 1945, Palestine had 85% indigenous Palestinian population not otherwise. Would Gingrich care to see the historical mirror? The Jewish homeland in Palestine is outcome of the British- American complacency to avoid accountability for the centuries of conscious persecutions of the Jews in Europe. There was a culture of anti-Jewish religious metaphor across the European world that spilled over to America while Europeans migrated to the new world. Ironically, Arabs are the only people and civilization that enjoys a history of extending human dignity and equal treatment to Jewish people in their homes and hearts. Today, Palestinians are the victims of Israeli occupation and cruelty in Palestine. They live under barbed culture as did the Jews under the Nazis. Perhaps, Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe could not think to free themselves from the past except to sustain the Nazi culture of human atrocities and reshape Palestine with barbed wires walls and check points to reinvent the insanity of Nazism. What a strange co-incident of human history?  When darkness prevails, people and nation seem to lose the sense of direction. For ages, the capitalist Europeans-American fought ideological wars against communist Russia and China. Today, they eagerly and desperately trying to bridge the historical gulfs often seem unbridgeable. History is not fixed nor is the destiny of people. Jews should know better as they have gone through various critical junctures in their life cycle- it is the enlightened foresight that can envisage the future for the Arab-Israeli co-existence, not the warfare of the past or the denial to establish an independent State of Palestine..

Palestinian factions NEED political unity, new intelligent leadership and creative strategies to deal with Israelis. Divided Palestinians will lead to divisions and disparity, not unity of purpose.  The essence of global politics and purpose calls for the Palestinian factions to be united at one platform and committed to logical purpose of peace and co-existence. There is no functional alternative to peaceful co-existence with Israel.  History expound horrible consequences of warmongering and killings, it solves no problem but create more unsolvable situations of conflicts. Some of the traditional Palestinian leaders should encourage the new generation of educated and competent people to assume leadership for building a new future on equal terms with Israel. Palestinians need unity of thought and action as one people. Their division represents absurdity, not intelligent outlook to the purpose of freedom from the Israeli occupation.  Late Professor Edward Said (“Who is in charge of the Past and the Future”), makes the point: “We acquired a modern political identity by virtue of that struggle, which is very far from over. Today our sense of our history and past should fuller, more critical, more insightful, not less. Above all, it should be written by us, not the American Secretary of State, nor the Israeli government. If we do not take charge of our history what future, if any, will be left for us to think about and implement?” Whether it is Fatah or Hamas, they should see the interest of the people, not the rudimentary flip-flop of the old tribal warfare. Their strength lies in their purpose of being rational people to make ways for the future generation to live in peace.  Palestinian leaders should focus on the goal not on discard and declare the independence as it seems they are following it through. MJ Rosenberg, in his most recent article (“US: Recognize State of Palestine In 2011”-ICH, 01/20/2011) notes:

“The best alternative is a U.S.-brokered settlement that would establish a State of Palestine, with contiguous borders, alongside Israel. East Jerusalem would be the Palestinian capital. In exchange, Israel would get the two things it has always insisted are the only demands it makes of the Arabs: secure, recognized borders and security guarantees from the United States. (The security of the Palestinian state would also be guaranteed.”

The Western political leaders and public institutions indulge in rhetoric of peace making but lack the vision, capacity, and courage to take rigorous steps to make it happen. It is all politics of peacemaking – an illusion on the screen and not the real peacemaking. To gather people’s attention, they will invent abstract issues and reshape the facts of human history to manipulate the voters and gain cheap favors. Politics is a game of pretension and apprehension, not doing the good for the people with purpose, honesty and clarity of intentions.  To console human mind, the Western leaders and political lobbyists are at least talking in public, but what about the Arab rulers – are they talking? Are they doing anything at all? Do they have the moral, intellectual and visionary leadership capacity to do anything useful for the deprived Palestinians and for themselves?  One would imagine, the Arab rulers being at the helms of oil pumping power, abundance of dollars and influence – they must be equipped to play a significant role in global political affairs. Not so, time and history tell the story otherwise. They are the wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things.

The proactive initiatives rest with the visionary leaders on both sides of the barbed wire. To see things beyond the obvious, not just for today but for tomorrow and day after tomorrow, in the near future and for distant future to be built on mutual recognition, equality and freedom. Holocaust was engineered against the Jews by the Europeans not by the Arabs. The Arab civilization is remarkably unique and credible to claim that Jews have been living amidst their culture and in co-existence for centuries. The concept of state without people is void. Only Hitler and Mussolini could have been flattered by the absolutism of the state doctrine. The current Israeli PM Netanhou talks of peace and con-existence with Palestinians but defies logic when it comes to action in the same spirit. In one sided glorification of the state of Israel another strand can be traced out in Netanhou’s mindset and that is interwoven emotions of hatred and fear of the unknown if an equal State of Palestine will come into being.  Palestinians are the victims of perpetuated fear against their culture and freedom. Arguably, when two national entities exist side by side and treat each other with respect, they develop trust and accountability for mutual survival. Leaders lead and leaders talk openly and learn from the complex situations and difficult circumstances stalling the human change and progress. Those with a picture of the future will survive, others will remain prisoners in the depth of human ignorance and self- imposed failure. Israeli policy makers and leaders with strong institutionalized capacity of thinking and actions do enjoy respect for diversity of opinions and freedom of alternatives. No matter who comes into political power, Israelis have learned to manage their interests and ultimate strategic goals of unity and purpose.  Not so with the oil producing Arab elite, they lack intellectual imagination and strength of the will power to tolerate diversity of opinions. They follow one-track box and often without thinking of their own national interests. Their global image in policy making and behaviors carries no weight at all in any global setting. The oil revenues created illusion of transitory economic prosperity have blindfolded the Arabian elite to see the world as a challenge and to strive for a balanced (mizan) discourse of policy behaviors. Those who strive for change and continuous movement in life are viewed respectfully and are successful. When the Arabs were committed to Islam as a system of life, they were people enriched with originality of thinking and proactive vision of success for the future, not just for the self but for the whole of mankind. But the borrowed oil-based economic prosperity has destroyed the Arab minds, drained out their positive THINKING, Islamically knowledge-based culture and values, not just the originality of things for the good of humanity but transformed them into captives of  false illusions without reality. The Arab rulers are subservient to the policy dictates of the Western masters, not accountable to the interests of the people they govern. If they were intelligent and energetic in new thinking with strong presence in global politics, they could have evolved new institutions and offered help to search for feasible solutions to major political problems such as Palestine, systematic governance and remaking of Muslim Ummah. The on-going recent authoritarian brutalities in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other locations in the Arab heartlands signal a stern warning to all concerned. They demand immediate action to stop the killing of the masses simply asking for freedom and human dignity. Over 60 years since their freedom from the European colonization, Arab elite failed to develop public institutions, sustainable system of governance and participation of the new generation in societal change and development. They are incapable to deal with any major issues of peace and conflict resolution. Bashar al-Assad, Ghaddafi, Ben Ali

Abdullah Saleh and Hosni Mubarak were not the leaders but insane people who were put to high offices to serve their foreign Masters. To the Arab people, bundle up the dummies, selfish and stupid rulers and ship them out to where they belong – most likely permanent resting places in Washington or London’s cemeteries – the ruling imperial forces backing the age of authoritarianism. The futuristic Arab rulers would NEED an inward eye and right thinking to serve the people, not the masters in Washington or London.

The former colonial master of the Middle East, the British policy makers are confused on matters of principles. Their interest is derived from the unknown and often glued to financial gains in playing the political cards. Britain is no longer a superpower but shrinking to be a colony of the US as it was during the Roman Empire. They follow blindly the US lead in global affairs as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan- fighting without a cause and killing others and get killed.  The US leaders believe that war is the lifeline for the economy and the big political-military-industrial complex controlling the nerve of the US strategic thinking and policies. They need wars, not peace. The Middle East does not long for another war but peace and co-existence for human well being and living together. The US superpower role and influence is redundant. It wants normalization of relationships between the Arabs and Israel without solving the problem of Palestine on its merits. Its foreign policy is overwhelmingly one-sided to push for Israel’s political interest first and not the balanced approach to pursue a “peace process” for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with capital in East Jerusalem. The recent Wikileaks documents spell out how the Palestinian PLO leadership in negotiations with Israel and the US compromised the right of self-determination and abandoned the goal of Palestinian freedom for personal greed and stupidity.  Palestinian people must develop new and educated leadership with vision and integrity for the future. Arabs despite being rich in banking and palaces are weak and need moral and intellectual strength that oil pitched dollar cannot buy. Listening and learning is much part of the leadership trait as it is rational substance for effective leadership. Are the oil producing Arab rulers listening to the voices of REASON? A decade earlier when this author proposed to one influential Arab foreign minister to establish a university of global security, peace and conflict management to help cultivate their institutionalized capacity building to deal with global issues including Palestine and strengthen their capability in public institutions and  global political interaction.  Strangely enough, his reply was that we have the best experts from USA and Europe to advise us. Surely, Allah does not guide the ignorant and wicked. The Al-Qura’an clarifies the truth that “intelligent people always readily accept advice.” Are there any Arab leaders looking for intelligent advice and guidance to reconnect themselves with the aspirations of the masses?

Why the Arabs and Palestinian leaders failed to make progress in global conflict resolution? Late Professor Edward W. Said puts it in a nutshell: “we must all take the blame in colossal failure.” (Peace and its Discontents). The oil rich Arabs have no leadership, no vision for the future, nor presence in the US policy making corridors. They are overwhelmed with erecting tallest buildings made of dust across the Arabian gulf region. The big thinking behind the tall edifice does not change the political scale in Washington nor frighten anybody. Dust is dust, it does not change its originality. They lack public institutions and inward foresight and will to assign priority to the freedom of Palestine. Hardly any Arab leaders can communicate openly to the informed global community. Some Arab rulers are wasting time and opportunities to buy obsolete US weaponry worth of $60 billion or more but it will not change the Arab status-quo in the Middle East strategic construct mainly dominated by Israel. What Israel and America need is an intellectual and political challenge that the naïve and submissive Arab rulers cannot imagine. There are no Arab armies and no Arab leaders to challenge anybody on any fronts. Under Islam, the Arabs used to claim and enjoin moral and intellectual superiority in dealing with enemies and in situations of conflict.  Now the oil pumped prosperity conspiracy (fitna) has made the Arab rulers redundant and irrelevant to the 21st century political games. At a Middle Eastern university campus, while this author was speaking on the current affairs, a mention was made that “Arab prince live in palaces, not with people.” Among the audience some of the ruling elite got allergic and nauseated. Consequently, next time, the Arab embassy refused to issue the visit visa.   The superficial oil-based prosperity has bewildered the Arab rulers to the extent that some have become intolerable to any rational concerns. They THINK of the self, not of the people or of the Muslim Ummah. Would another jolt as was inflicted to Saddam Hussein change the Arab thinking of the politics of the palaces? Have they learned anything from the killing of Ghaddafi and ousting of Hosni Mubarak and other self-made presidents and kings? There is a culture of pretension across the Western political governance about human rights and liberty. Nobody questioned Ben Ali while he was decreeing anti-Islamic practices and torturing political activists in Tunis. All of  sudden, the Western news media opens up its closed circuits to Arabs activists, Mr. Obama  speaks out, so does Ban K Moon, the unheard UN Secretary General on human right violations in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and so many others.  Were they dormant and deaf in the past prior to the ousting of Mubarak and killing of Ghaddafi? Palestinian leaders should not wait for anything to happen out of the blue but organize themselves as one people of UNITY striving to achieve national freedom from Israeli occupation. Palestinians do enjoy global consensus and support to declare the independent State of Palestine with capital in East Jerusalem.  The Palestinian leadership of all factions should articulate initiatives and political UNITY to make it happen. There is a persistent disequilibrium prevalent in the Middle East and this is what threatens the Israeli existence. The establishment of an independent State of Palestine will logically balance the obvious imbalance between the Arabs and Israel.  In early 1980’s, while student in the US, the author had the honor of knowing Professor Edward Said – a Palestinian genius – a great thinker for the good of mankind. Late Professor Edward Said (Peace and its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process, 1996), was not just a visionary but enriched with proactive thoughts and a truly passionate intellectual and committed warrior to the cause of freedom of Palestine:

“I sincerely believe in reconciliation between peoples and cultures in collision, and have made it my life’s work to try to further that end. But true reconciliation cannot be imposed, neither can it occur between cultures and societies that are enormously uneven in power. The kind of reconciliation that can bring real peace can only occur between equals, between partners whose independence, strength of purpose, and inner cohesion allows them fully to understand and share with the other.”

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja is a contributor to The Real Agenda. He specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the most recent one: Arabia at Crossroads: Arab People Strive for Freedom, Peace and New Leadership. VDM Publishers, Germany, September 2011.  Comments are welcome at:

Obama Sold Bunker Buster Bombs to Israel

Is an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites closer than before?

The Daily Beast
September 26, 2011

Barack Obama has spent his entire time in office urging the Israelis to make wrenching concessions to the Palestinians, and the American Jewish community has questioned his loyalty. But appearances can be deceiving.

At the U.N. last week, Obama sided with Israel by pushing against thePalestinian vote for statehood. Even more telling: behind the scenes Obama has pressed hard to secure the Israeli state—through major military support.

Surrounded by 15 Jewish-community leaders in the White House back in 2009, Obama chose his words deliberately. He knew he faced suspicions after publicly pressing Israel to give in to the Palestinians on housing settlements. A fraudulent election that returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power in Iran left Israelis even more concerned about their security—and the new U.S. president’s intentions.

“I’ll always be there for [Israel], but we are going to ask to make hard political choices—settlements, borders,” Obama pointedly told attendees at the meeting. His remarks were confirmed by Newsweek through interviews and notes taken by a participant.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, a Reform Jewish leader, asked the president to explain why he singled out Israel in public for criticism over its settlements rather than keep disputes with an ally private. Obama grabbed for his then–chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a longtime Israel supporter whose father was a member of the Zionist militia known as the Irgun.

Read Full Article…

Hope in 2011: People, Civil Society Stand Tall

By Ramzy Baroud
Global Research

When the Iraqi army fell before invading US and British troops in 2003, the latter’s mission seemed to be accomplished. But nearly eight years after the start of a war intended to shock and awe a whole population into submission, the Iraqi people continue to stand tall. They have confronted and rejected foreign occupations, held their own against sectarianism, and challenged random militancy and senseless acts of terrorism.conflict

For most of us, the Iraqi people’s resolve cannot be witnessed, but rather deduced. Eight years of military strikes, raids, imprisonments, torture, humiliation and unimaginable suffering were still not enough to force the Iraqis into accepting injustice as a status quo.

In August 2010, the United States declared the end of its combat mission in Iraq, promising complete withdrawal by the end of 2011. However, US military action has continued, only under different designations. The occupation of Iraq carries on, despite the tactical shifts of commands and the rebranding effort.

However, were it not for the tenacity of the Iraqi people, who manage to cross-sectarian, political and ideological divides, there would be no talk of withdrawals or deadlines. There would be nothing but cheap oil, which could have ushered in a new golden age of imperialism – not in Iraq, but throughout the so-called Third World. The Iraqi people have managed to stop what could have become a dangerous trend.

2010 was another year where Iraqis held strong, and civil societies throughout the world stood with them in solidarity, a solidarity that will continue until full sovereignty is attained.

Palestine provides another example of international solidarity, one that is unsurpassed in modern times. Civil society has finally crossed the line between words and sentiments of solidarity into actual and direct action. The Israeli siege on Gaza, which was supported by the United States and few other Western powers, resembled more than a humanitarian crisis. It was a moral crisis as well, especially as the besieged population of Gaza was subjected to a most brutal war at the end of 2008, followed by successive lethal military strikes. The four year long siege has devastated a population whose main crime was exercising its democratic right to vote, and refusing to submit to the military and political diktats of Israel.

Gaza remains a shining example of human strength in our time. This is a fact the Israeli government refuses to accept. Israeli and other media reported that the Israeli army will be deploying new tanks to quell the resistance of the strip, with the justification that Palestinians fighters managed to penetrate the supposedly impenetrable Israeli Merkava tank. Israeli military chief Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, who made the revelation in a recent parliamentary session, may never comprehend that neither a Mekava (or whatever new model he will be shipping to Gaza soon) nor the best military hardware anywhere could penetrate the will of the unwavering Palestinians.

Gaza is not alone. Civil society leaders representing every religion, nationality and ideology have tirelessly led a campaign of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The breadth and magnitude of this solidarity has been unmatched in recent times, at least since the anti-fascist International Brigades units resolutely defended the Second Spanish Republic between 1936-1939.

The solidarity has come at a cost. Many activists from Turkey and various other countries were killed in the high seas as they attempted to extend a hand of camaraderie to the people of Gaza and Palestine. Now, knowing the dangers that await them, many activists the world over are still hoping to set sail to Gaza in 2011.

Indeed, 2010 was a year that human will proved more effective than military hardware. It was the year human solidarity crossed over like never before into new realms, bringing with it much hope and many new possibilities.

But the celebration of hope doesn’t end in Palestine and Iraq. It merely begins there. Champions of human rights come from every color and creed. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, The Most Rev. Dr. Desmond Tutu of South Africa, former US President Jimmy Carter and other luminaries and civil society heroes and heroines from across the world will continue their mission of peace and justice, as they have for many years.

These well-known names are only part of the story. There are literary millions of unsung heroes that make the hardship of the years more tolerable, and who will continue to guide us through new years and unknown challenges.

Haiti was one country that was hit hardest in 2010.  The small nation was greeted on January 12, 2010 with a most catastrophic earthquake, followed by 52 aftershocks. Over half a million people were estimated killed and injured, and many more became homeless. The year ended on a similarly devastating note, as over 2,000 people died and 105,000 fell ill (according to estimates by the Pan American Health Organization) after a cholera outbreak ravished an already overwhelmed country.

It is rather strange how leading powers can be so immaculate and efficient in their preparations for war, and yet so scandalously slow in their responses to human need when there is no political or economic price to be exacted. But this discrepancy will hardly deter doctors and nurses at the St. Nicholas Hospital in Haiti, who, despite the dangerous lack of resources, managed to save 90 percent of their patients

Our hearts go out to Haiti and its people during these hard times. But Haiti needs more than good wishes and solemn prayers. It also needs courageous stances by civil society to offset the half-hearted commitments made by some governments and publicity-seeking leaders.

It must be said that hope is not a random word aimed at summoning a fuzzy, temporary feeling of positive expectations for the future. To achieve its intended meaning, it must be predicated on real, foreseeable values. It must be followed by action. Civil society needs to continue to step up and fill the gaps created or left wide open by self-seeking world powers.

Words don’t end wars, confront greed or slow down the devastation caused by natural disasters. People do. Let 2011 be a year of action, hope, and the uninterrupted triumph of civil society.

Ramzy Baroud ( is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London).

Israel Commandos Murder 16 people in attack to Aid Ship


Fighting broke out between the activists and the masked Israeli troops, who rappelled on to deck from helicopters before dawn.

A spokeswoman for the flotilla, Greta Berlin, said she had been told ten people had been killed and dozens wounded, accusing Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at “unarmed civilians”. But an Israeli radio station said that between 14 and 16 were dead in a continuing operation.

“How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this?” Ms Berlin said. “Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?

“We have two other boats. This is not going to stop us.”

But an Israeli military spokeswoman said that there had been a planned and organised attempt to “lynch” the boarding party. She said the activists were armed with knives and guns.

The Israeli government’s handling of the confrontation was under intense international pressure even as it continued. The Israeli ambassador to Turkey, the base of one of the human rights organisation which organised the flotilla, was summoned by the foreign ministry in Anakara, as the Israeli consulate in Istanbul came under attack.

One Israeli minister issued immediate words of regret. “The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities,” Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the trade and industry minister, told army radio.

But he added that the commandoes had been attacked with batons and activists had sought to take their weapons off them.

Israeli military sources said four of its men had been injured, one stabbed, and that they had been shot at.

“The flotilla’s participants were not innocent and used violence against the soldiers. They were waiting for the forces’ arrival,” they were quoted by a news website as saying.

The flotilla had set sail on Sunday from northern, or Turkish, Cyprus. Six boats were led by the Mavi Marmara, which carried 600 activists from around the world, including Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Northern Ireland peace protester who won a Nobel Prize in 1976.

It came under almost immediate monitoring from Israeli drones and the navy, with two vessels flanking it in international waters. The flotilla, which had been warned that it would not be allowed to reach Gaza, attempted to slow and change course, hoping to prevent a confrontation until daylight, when the Israeli military action could be better filmed.

But in the early hours of this morning local time commandoes boarded from helicopters.

The activists were not carrying guns, but television footage shown by al-Jazeera and Turkish television channels show hand-to-hand fighting, with activists wearing life-jackets striking commandoes with sticks.

The Israeli army said its troops were assaulted with axes and knives.

The television footage did not show firing but shots could be heard in the background. One man was shown lying unconscious on the deck, while another man was helped away.

A woman wearing hijab, the Muslim headscarf, was seen carrying a stretcher covered in blood.

The al-Jazeera broadcast stopped with a voice shouting in Hebrew: “Everyone shut up”.

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza after the strip was taken over by the militant group Hamas in 2007. It has allowed some food and medical supplies through, but has prevented large-scale rebuilding following the bombardment and invasion of 2008-9.

The flotilla is the latest in a series of attempts by activists to break through the blockade. The boats were carrying food and building supplies.

Activists said at least two of the other boats, one Greek and one Turkish, had been boarded from Israeli naval vessels. Activists said two of the other boats in the flotilla were American-flagged.

The confrontation took place in international waters 80 miles off the Gaza coast.

It was attacked by the head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.

“We call on the Secretary-General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza,” he said.

Turkish television meanwhile showed hundreds of protesters trying to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The incident will be particularly damaging for Israel’s relations with what had been seen as its closest ally in the Muslim world.

“By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives,” a Turkish foreign ministry statement said. “We strongly condemn these inhumane practices of Israel.

“This deplorable incident, which took place in open seas and constitutes a fragrant breach of international law, may lead to irreparable consequences in our bilateral relations.”

Israel’s closest ally Washington described the loss of life as a “tragedy” on the eve of talks between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” a White House spokesman said.

Watch the Video of the Attack here

Togel178 Togel178 Togel178 Togel178 Togel178 Pedetogel Pedetogel Pedetogel Pedetogel Pedetogel Sabatoto Sabatoto Sabatoto Sabatoto Sabatoto Togel279 Togel279 Togel279 Togel279 Togel279 Togel279 Togel279 Togel158 Togel158 Togel158 Togel158 Togel158 Colok178 Colok178 Colok178 Colok178 Colok178 Colok178 Colok178 Colok178 Novaslot88 Novaslot88 Novaslot88 Novaslot88 Novaslot88