Gaza aid flotilla attack: UN calls for impartial inquiry

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New York, June 1 (ANI): The UN Security Council has called for a prompt and impartial investigation into the Israeli attack against a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the immediate release of all civilians.

"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 Telegraph quoted the statement, as saying.

The Security Council requested the immediate release of all ships and civilians held by Israel.

In the statement, which was the result of a compromise between Turkey and the US, Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, said that the council reiterated its grave concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which it said was "not sustainable."

The statement came as Israel expelled 48 activists seized on the six ships but said it would would continue to detain 487 others.

One, who identified himself as American but did not give his name, told reporters as he was being led away the he was "not violent".

Israel has been strongly condemned by the international community for the deadly raid.

Israel has claimed that its troops only opened fire after being set upon by activists wielding iron bars, but the Free Gaza Movement, which organised the convoy, and the Turkish group IHH, which made up most of the activists on board, said the shooting was unprovoked.

An exact death toll is still unclear, with Israeli authorities now saying nine were killed, while activist groups said 19 were unaccounted for. Most were believed to be Turkish.

Turkey led calls for an independent inquiry and a lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

The Palestinian representative, Riyad Mansour, said the raid was an attack on unarmed civilians in international waters and a "war crime".

Protests were staged in cities around the world on Monday afternoon, but outrage at the incident was strongest in Turkey, historically Israel's closest ally in the Muslim world. (ANI)

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