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Carter Center condemns attack on aid ship bound for Gaza

By the CNN Wire Staff

Atlanta, Georgia -- The Carter Center, founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to advance human rights and alleviate suffering, condemned Israel's attack on a ship carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza as "unprovoked and illegal."

"These tragic deaths are a terrible reminder that the failed policy of besieging Gaza mainly hurts civilians," Carter said Wednesday in a statement that referred to the deaths of nine activists aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara.

He called on the International Quartet comprising the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia to "urgently agree on a mechanism to end the closure of Gaza, reunite the Palestinian factions, and permit unification of Palestinian people in their social and political life.

"There is no way to realize the goal of a two-state solution as long as the people of Gaza remain isolated and deprived of their basic human rights," Carter said.