UN: Israeli Raid on Flotilla ‘Excessive’, but Blockade ‘Legal’

A United Nations-mandated inquiry into a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish-led aid flotilla to Gaza in 2010 says Israel’s action was "excessive", according to extracts published Thursday by the New York Times.

The report, which has not yet been officially released amid a dispute between Israel and Turkey, says that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal, however.

Eight Turkish nationals and an American man of Turkish descent died in the May 31, 2010, raid.

"Israel’s decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable," the inquiry says.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, said the inquiry into the flotilla aid bound for Gaza was "unjust" and lacked balance.

The UN investigation into the events on the Turkish-flagged ship known as the Mavi Marmara, the largest of six vessels that were commandeered by Israeli commandos on May 31, 2010, was headed by Sir Geoffrey Palmer, a former prime minister of New Zealand, aided by

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