End Times News Update
Sign: Gog Alliance (Turkey is turning)
Scripture: Ezekiel 38:2-9
News Source: My Way News
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Israel boat raid sparks condemnations, protests

May 31, 2:35 PM (ET)
By SELCAN HACAOGLU and LEE KEATH

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel and
called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council as
condemnations erupted across Europe and the Arab world Monday over
Israel’s deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the
blockaded Gaza Strip.

Government after government demanded an explanation from Israel, which
said its soldiers were trying to defend themselves against armed
activists. The White House said it was trying to learn more about
“this tragedy.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “it should be known
that we are not going to remain silent in the face of this inhumane
state terrorism.” Most of the nine dead were apparently from Turkey,
once a close ally of Israel.

In Istanbul, a crowd tried to storm the Israeli Consulate. North of
Jerusalem, Palestinians hurled bottles and stones at Israeli soldiers.
In Jordan, hundreds urged their government to follow Turkey’s lead and
cut ties with Israel. Dozens of Egyptians protested outside the
foreign ministry in Cairo criticizing the Egyptian government holding
pictures of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Israel said the activists attacked its commandos as they boarded the
six ships taking tons of supplies to Gaza, while the flotilla’s
organizers said the Israeli forces opened fire first.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the violence. The
European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, said the
bloc was deeply concerned and she called on Israel to carry out an
inquiry. British Foreign Secretary William Hague deplored the killings
and called for an end to the Gaza blockade.

Greece, Egypt, Sweden, Spain and Denmark summoned Israel’s ambassadors
demanding explanations for the violence, with Spain and France
condemning what they called the disproportionate use of force. Greece
suspended a military exercise with Israel and postponed a visit by
Israel’s air force chief. Germany called for an immediate
investigation but was careful not to directly place blame, and said it
was seeking information on six German citizens believed to have been
aboard the ships.

In Tehran, dozens of angry students pelted the U.N. offices with
stones and eggs in protest, burning Israeli flags and chanting, “death
to Israel” and “down with U.S.” Police blocked them from reaching the
building. The president of Iran, a key supporter of Hamas, called the
raid “an inhuman act.” In Baghdad, an estimated 3,000 Shiite followers
of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr shouted “Death, death to
Israel!” and “Death, death to America!”

Riot police used tear gas to drive back hundreds of protesters
demonstrating outside the Israeli Embassy in Paris. There were also
demonstrations in Rome, Sweden, Norway, Cyprus and more than 20 cities
in Greece.

In Athens, riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse
around 2,500 Greeks and Arabs protesting outside the Israeli Embassy.
Some protesters threw stones and tried to push past police lines to
reach the embassy. About 2,000 people demonstrated peacefully in
Thessaloniki.

The African Union issued a statement to “strongly condemn” the raid
and said it “complicates the existing situation and the effort to
bring just, lasting and comprehensive peace to the area.”

Abdel-Rahman al-Attiya, the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a
regional group, said “Israel is a renegade entity that violates
international law” and said the attack should be considered “a war
crime.”

In Saudi Arabia, which has promoted a wider Arab-Israeli peace
proposal calling for a land-for-peace swap, the Cabinet headed by King
Abdullah called on the international community to hold Israel
responsible for its “barbaric” policies.

But the strongest reaction came from Turkey, where Deputy Prime
Minister Bulent Arinc said Turkey was canceling three joint military
drills and calling on the U.N. Security Council to convene in an
emergency session about Israel. Turkey is currently a member of the
council.

He also said a Turkish youth soccer team currently in Israel would be
brought home.

The raid also brought heightened attention to Israel’s blockade of the
Gaza Strip, imposed after the Palestinian militant group Hamas seized
control of the tiny Mediterranean territory in 2007. The blockade –
along with Israel’s fierce offensive against Gaza in the winter of
2008-2009 to stop Hamas rocket fire on Israeli villages – has fueled
anti-Israeli sentiment around the Arab world.

The Cairo-based Arab League called an emergency session for Tuesday to
address the attack, as the two only Arab states with peace deals with
Israel – Jordan and Egypt – sharply condemned the violence.

The incident also put Egypt in a tight position. The only Arab country
bordering the Gaza Strip, it has helped enforce the blockade by
cracking down on smuggling tunnels that are a key source of goods to
Gaza’s 1.5 million people and by rejecting pressure that it open its
border crossing.

A group founded by Nelson Mandela that includes Nobel Peace Prize
winner Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter said “the
treatment of the people of Gaza is one of the world’s greatest human
rights violations and that the blockade is not only illegal, it is
counterproductive.”

In Beirut, about 500 Palestinian and Lebanese activists protested in
front of the U.N. headquarters, setting Israeli flags on fire. In
neighboring Syria, more than 200 Syrian and Palestinian protesters
staged a sit-in before the offices of the United Nations.

Lee Keath reported from Cairo. AP correspondents from around the
Mideast, Europe and Africa contributed to this report.

Source: My Way News
URL:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100531/D9G202K80.html

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