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UN calls for probe of Israeli attack, civilians’ release

UN calls for probe of Israeli attack, civilians’ release
AFP
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First Published: Tue, Jun 01 2010. 11 29 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Jun 01 2010. 11 29 AM IST
United Nations: The UN Security Council called Tuesday for an impartial investigation into the Israeli attack against a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the immediate release of all civilians.
The statement, which came at the end of an emergency session that lasted more than 12 hours, condemned “those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded.”
“The Security Council took note of the statement of the UN secretary general on the need to have a full investigation into the matter and it calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards,” the statement said.
Israeli commandos carried out the raid in international waters on a convoy of vessels with activists from a variety of countries bringing food and medical supplies to Gaza.
The Security Council requested the immediate release of all ships and civilians held by Israel. Israeli public radio earlier reported that Israel would hold 480 of the activists and expel 48 others.
“The Council urges Israel to permit full consular access, to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately and to ensure the delivery of the humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination,” it said.
In the statement, Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, the council’s current president, said the council reiterated its grave concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which it said was “not sustainable.”
It stressed the need for “sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.”
Emphasizing that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a two state solution, the statement expressed concern that the incident occurred at a time when indirect talks were underway between the sides.
It urged the parties “to act with restraint, avoiding any unilateral and provocative actions, and all international partners to promote an atmosphere of cooperation between the parties and throughout the region.”
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First Published: Tue, Jun 01 2010. 11 29 AM IST