By Ria Novosti
The Palestinian Authority has rejected a UN report on the Israeli attack against a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla in May 2010, Xinhua has said.
Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan al-Khatib told the news agency that the report, which was obtained and partly published by the New York Times last week, was “reprehensible and unacceptable by the Palestinians, mainly the part related to the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.”
“The blockade violates international law,” Al-Khatib told Xinhua. He said the Palestinian authority was waiting to receive the full report officially, but warned that the position stated in it “might encourage Israel to go on with its aggressive assaults on the enclave.”
The report said that Israel used “excessive force” against the aid flotilla, which resulted in the deaths of eight Turkish nationals on board the Mavi Marmara ship, which was attacked by Israeli commandos in international waters off the Gaza coast on May 31, 2010.
It stated, however, that the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, aimed at preventing arms smuggling to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave, “doesn’t contradict with international law.”
Hamas has also condemned the report. Its minister of foreign affairs, Mohamed Awad, was quoted by Xinhua as saying that any attempts to justify the “unfair and illegal siege on the Gaza Strip… should be rejected.”
The report was published as Turkey announced its decision to expel the Israeli ambassador and cancel military contracts with its one-time regional ally as Tel Aviv has refused to apologize for killing the eight Turks during the raid. Israel says its soldiers acted in self defense after being attacked by activists on board the Mavi Marmara ship, while Turkey insists that the Israelis attacked first.
The report confirmed that the Israeli commandos acted in self defense and did not call for an apology, saying that Israel should rather “express regret” over the loss of life.