Durkan: flotilla killing latest in litany of violations and war crimes

FOYLE MP Mark Durkan says the latest outrage by the Israeli Defence Forces has been fostered by the impunity which Israel has enjoyed in respect of serial humanitarian violations and war crimes.

Mr Durkan said: "Many people throughout the world will have been shocked by the pictures of the deadly attack on the flotilla.

"These at least mean that the Israeli government and their usual friends cannot successfully deny the nature of the event.

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"We must all remember the underlying humanitarian crisis which Israeli policy is imposing on the people of Gaza.

"The international community's failure to stand up to Israel's gross and continuous crimes against Palestinians has only encouraged the contemptuous and contemptible mindset which has produced this massacre at sea."

Yesterday a protest rally took place in Londonderry in the wake of the killing of at least 9 humanitarian activists by IDF commandos who stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip.

Amongst the activists on board the flotilla was Carndonagh man Fiachra Luain.

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IDF forces boarded the vessels early on Monday morning, clashing with some of the 600 protesters on board.

The attack happened about 40 miles from shore, in international waters.

Israel claims its soldiers were shot at and attacked with bars and knives; the activists say Israeli troops came on board shooting.

The European Union has called for an inquiry to establish what happened.

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Sinn Fin Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn who was deputy leader of a previous aid convoy to Gaza issued the following statement.

"I am appalled at the outrageous attack on a peace flotilla in international waters by the Israeli regime acting in complete violation of international law.

"Here in Derry we know only too well how a state propaganda machine can swing into action to attempt to justify the unjustifiable and we can see the Israeli state in action today trying to hide their murderous activities.

"The facts however are clear – Israel commandoes attacked foreign owned boats in international waters using deadly force to capture the vessels and prevent humanitarian aid reaching the besieged people of Gaza."

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He called on the international community to act and said the Israeli embassy in Dublin should be closed.

"Special trading relationships with Israel should be cancelled immediately and a full International Inquiry launched immediately," he said.

"Israel must be brought to book and made amenable to international law like everyone else."