Worldwide protests over Israeli attack on Gaza aid flotilla

15:39, June 04, 2010      

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Since Israeli ships attacked one of the six ships of a relief flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza on Monday, May 31 with a death toll of two and 30 other injuries, and the denunciation of the Israeli assault on the aid convoy has been heated up worldwide.

The League of Arab States decided on Wednesday, June 2 to sue Israel at the International Criminal Court, and the United Nations Human Rights Council passed on the same day a resolution to denounce Israel's interception of Gaza-bound flotilla and called for dispatching an independent fact-finding mission to look into the tragedy.

The Arab League (AL) called an emergency session of 19 Arab foreign ministers at its headquarters in Cairo on Wednesday evening to address the attack. The session decided to sue Israel at the International Tribunal and urged the world community to work to end the Israeli embargo against Gaza. In a statement released after the meeting, AL Secretary General Amr Moussa and 19 AL foreign ministers unanimously asked the United Nations to call a special session on the event.

On the same day, the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution, which appealed for dispatching an independent international fact-finding mission to probe into the incident. Meanwhile, it urged Israel to lift its blockade on Gaza Strip and other occupied Palestinian territories, so as to provide unimpeded access for international assistance. And the president of the U.N. Human Rights Council and the representative of Belgium in the U.N. office in Geneva would be held responsible for the appointment of members of the mission.

The U.N. Human Right Council took to vote on Flotilla resolution on Wednesday, June 2. The resolution was submitted a day earlier by the Palestinian Authority, the Sudan (on behalf of the Arab Group) and Pakistan (on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic nations) and it was eventually passed by 32 votes to three with nine abstentions.

At a press conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: "At this sensitive time, it is essential to avoid provocations…" Speaking more broadly, "we must advance the proximity facilitated…""As I said in my earlier statement, all the parties should act responsibly, with caution, to avoid any such kind of incident."

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