Tuesday, June 1, 2010

FP morning brief 6/1

UN Security Council condemns "acts" in Israeli raid

Top story: The United Nations Security Council, after much diplomatic wrangling over the resolution's language, condemned on Tuesday morning the "acts" that led to the deaths of nine civilians aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla. The deaths occurred when Israel Defense Forces soldiers, attempting to redirect the convoy, clashed with pro-Palestinian activists aboard the ships on Monday. Under pressure from the Obama administration, the statement did not exclusively condemn Israel, which contends that its soldiers were acting in self defense after being attacked by the civilians aboard the ship. The United Nations statement also called for an impartial investigation into the events that led to the clashes, and referred to Israel's blockade of Gaza as "not sustainable."

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities detained hundreds of activists who were aboard the flotilla, after it arrived in an Israeli port. The Mavi Marmara, the vessel on which all of the casualties occurred, arrived at Israel's naval base in Ashdod on Monday evening. The base has been declared a military zone, and is off limits to the news media. Almost three dozen people aboard the ship have reportedly been arrested, however, many for refusing to give their names. The Free Gaza Movement, which helped organize the flotilla, promised that more ships would attempt to reach Gaza shortly.

Split with Turkey: The Israeli-Turkish alliance, already under strain following Israel's war in Gaza in 2008, has suffered the most obvious blow from this recent crisis. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu referred to the Israeli actions aboard the flotilla as "murder conducted by a state," and called for the international community to hold Israel accountable for its actions. Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Israel, while protestors in Istanbul tried to storm the building that contains the Israeli consulate.

Egyptian reaction: In response to the growing diplomatic furor, Egypt announced that it would open its side of the Gaza border to humanitarian aid for several days, in an effort to "alleviate the suffering of our Palestinian brothers after the Israeli attack."

Middle East
Three months after polls closed, Iraq's supreme court confirmed the results of March's parliamentary election.
Six Turkish soldiers were killed in a rocket attack on a southern naval base.
A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency claims that Iran has the fuel required to make two nuclear weapons.

Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a senior al-Qaeda leader, has reportedly been killed in Afghanistan
The Thai government faces a no-confidence vote in Parliament over its actions to end anti-government protests last month.
Three judges were shot dead while presiding over a court hearing in China's Hunan province.

German President Horst Koehler resigned following a controversy over statements he made regarding Germany's military deployments.
The European Central Bank warned of economic challenges in the coming year for EU financial institutions.
European election observers offered qualified praise for Georgia's recent mayoral election.

Colombia is preparing for a run-off vote in its presidential election.
BP will attempt to place a containment cap over its leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Scientists warned of an unseen environmental disaster in the deep water below the oil spill.

Three Namibian women are suing the state after allegedly being sterilized without their consent.
Al-Qaeda's leader in Algeria has turned himself in to authorities, according to Algerian government sources.
The South Sudan army was attacked by rebels led by three of its former top officers.
-David Kenner

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