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Monday, September 05, 2011

'UN report on Gaza blockade flawed'


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will not apologize for a deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last year which killed nine Turkish nationals.


Netanyahu said Israel expresses regret for the loss of life, but will not apologize for what he called defending its civilians.

Turkey, irked by Israel's refusal to apologize over its deadly attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, expelled Tel Aviv's ambassador to Ankara and froze all military ties with Israel.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian resistance group Hamas blasted the UN report on the deadly Israeli raid on the aid convoy and its inhumane siege of Gaza.

The report approved Israel's blockade of Gaza -- tightened a year after the election of Hamas in Palestine's general elections of 2006 -- as a so-called security measure.

It called the Israeli raid "excessive and unreasonable," but also blamed Turkey and the flotilla organizers for contributing to the killing of pro-Palestinian activists.

To discuss the issue more, Press TV has conducted an interview with Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end US-funded wars and occupations around the world.

Press TV: Many say Israel does not apologize because it knows an apology will be followed by an international judicial action, why is Israel so afraid, when it has the US on its side?

Benjamin: Israel never apologizes for its actions and it continues to get away with them, whether it is the invasion of Gaza that left 1400 people dead; we never heard an apology from Israel about that or about the killings of these humanitarian aid workers on Mavi Marmara the fact that the US lets Israel continually get away with this means that Israel will keep doing it.

Press TV: The UN report somehow legalizes the siege of Gaza, what do you make of that, is that something prepared by a world body, or by those who pay its top brass?

Benjamin: I think this is a very flawed report because it does justify Israel blockade of Gaza and yet when you look at other areas of international humanitarian law, you find that it is illegal to use civilians as a means of pressuring a government.

This siege of Gaza intentionally harms the civilians, it is not so much aimed at stopping weapons from getting into Gaza as it is trying to get this civilians in Gaza to have such a difficult life that they rise up against the government of Hamas and this kind of collective punishment is forbidden under the Fourth Geneva convention. 

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