Israeli attack on aid ships draws condemnation in Egypt

09:07, June 01, 2010      

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An injured person is evacuated to Rambam hospital in the northern city of Haifa, Israel, May 31, 2010. Clash happened on Monday morning between an international Gaza aid flotilla and Israeli navy, causing at least 19 casualties, Israeli military confirmed. (Xinhua)

Egypt condemned on Monday Israeli forces' military attack on the Gaza-bound aid convoy Freedom Flotilla.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, currently in the French southern city of Nice to attend the 25th Africa-France Summit, denounced the use of force by Israel.

Earlier on Monday, Israeli forces attacked the international convoy of aid ships when attempting to stop the flotilla from reaching Gaza.

The flotilla, consisting of six ships carrying about 10,000 tons of aid, set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and was scheduled to reach Gaza on Monday morning.

Up to 19 civilians were killed in the deadly showdown between Israeli navy and pro-Palestinian activists onboard the Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Israel's Channel 10 said.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack.

"Israeli authorities have used excessive power and killed a number of activists. Egypt condemns this and totally rejects it," spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Hossam Zaki said in televised statements.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the human rights activists who lost their lives today in support of the Palestinian people and their just cause," he added.

The senior Egyptian diplomat called for immediate lifting of the siege imposed on Gaza, vowing to continue policies aiming at relieving the people in the strip and facilitating their crossing in and out.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry also summoned the Israeli ambassador in Cairo to convey its objection to the attack.

"Israeli ambassador to Egypt has been summoned and informed of Egypt's condemnation over the killings and the excessive use of force against the international activists," Zaki said.

The Egyptian parliament also denounced the attack as a crime that violates the international law.

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