May 31, 2010
Posted: 702 GMT
(CNN) - More than 10 people onboard a flotilla carrying aid for the Palestinian territory of Gaza were killed when security forces boarded the boats Monday, the Israeli military said. Four soldiers were wounded, the military added.
Soldiers boarded six ships, the military said, after the flotilla refused to heed warnings to dock at Israel's Ashdod port, where supplies would be unloaded and transferred to Gaza.
"At about 4:30 am, Israeli commandos dropped from helicopter onto deck of Turkish ship, immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians," a post on the group's Twitter page said.
Video aired on CNN sister network CNN Turk showed what appeared to be soldiers rappelling onto the deck of a ship.
Turkish media reported two dead and 50 injured in the alleged incident as a flotilla of six ships approached the Gaza coast. Free Gaza co-founder Greta Berlin told Al Jazeera English that its lawyers in Israel informed her that 10 people have been killed and many others injured. CNN could not immediately confirmed the reports.
"We did not attack any boat, we merely fulfill the Israeli government's decision to prevent anyone from going into the Gaza strip without coordinating with Israel," a statement from the Israeli military said. "The flotilla is a provocation made to de-legitimize Israel. Had they really wanted to deliver the cargo into Gaza they could have done so via Israel as it is done on a daily basis."
Israel's deputy foreign minister has scheduled a press conference for 10:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. ET).
In Istanbul, Turkey, the Foreign Ministry has summoned the Israeli ambassador for an explanation, according to Murat Mercan, head of parliament's foreign relations committee, who said he's expected a "very harsh declaration" from Turkish authorities. Read full story