Flotilla Attack, Willful Killing: Report

A UN probe bashes Israel for committing "willful killing" and torture when its troops attacked a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May.

The inquiry ordered by the UN Human Rights Council said Israel used "unnecessary violence" during the attack.

The Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, that killed nine Turkish activists, "constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law," AFP quoted the report.

The scathing report also dismissed Tel Aviv's allegations that activists aboard the flotilla's largest ship, the MV Mavi Marmara, were violent thereby justifying the decision by Israeli soldiers to open fire, adding that some of the activists killed were victim of actions "consistent with...summary execution."

The aid flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, was carrying humanitarian aid, medical supplies, and construction materials to Gaza which has been under tight Israeli blockade since the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, seized control in June 2007.

The UN probe also termed as 'unlawful' the continuation of the blockade that has caused great physical and mental harm to the Gaza resident.

"The blockade is unlawful and cannot be sustained in law. This is so regardless of the grounds on which it is sought to justify the legality of the blockade," said the inquiry report.

The probe report is expected to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.

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