Death of people in Israeli attack unjustified - Medvedev
The deaths of people during the Israeli attack on the humanitarian “Freedom Flotilla” sailing to the Gaza Strip are unjustified and irreversible, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday after the Russia-EU summit in Rostov-on-Don.
The Israeli military attacked the flotilla of 6 vessels, carrying aid and at least 600 human rights activists, mainly Turks, to the Gaza Strip late Sunday. Some reports say,19 people were killed during the operation. Israel admits only 9 deaths.
President Dmitry Medvedev called for a thorough investigation of the incident and said that, in any case, the deaths of people are irreversible. Foreign Ministries of Russia and the EU adopted a joint statement concerning the flotilla attack, which correlates with the UN Security Council activity in the situation. After a 12-hour consultation, the UN has condemned Israel’s attack on the flotilla. The attack on open-seas breached international law and, thus must be investigated. The UN also underlined the necessity to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The Arabic and Muslim world reacted harshly to the flotilla story and it will have a negative aftermath for Israel, believes a Middle East expert Vladimir Akhmedov: "Now Israel will have difficulties to explain its position on the Middle East peace process to the world. Unwillingness to compromise in the main issues, which are stumbling blocks to progress in the Palestinian-Israeli talks, is undermining the basis laid by mediators to resume indirect bilateral talks. Now Israel will have to maneuver if it wants to continue negotiations. Maybe, it will have to seriously consider the issue of lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip. The lifting of the blockade will prevent the conflict from turning into a military one and that is unacceptable taking into consideration the current situation in the Middle East."