From Al Jazeera
Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza.
At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.
The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.
Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."
URGENT ACTION ALERT:
PROTEST AND CONTACT THE GOVERNMENT NOW!
Israeli warships have surrounded the Gaza flotilla, and are flying drones and a helicopter overhead. All on board the boats are wearing their lifejackets and are prepared.
They need your help.
1. PROTEST: MONDAY 31 MAY
Demand immediate government intervention against Israel blocking the flotilla's route to Gaza.
Where: Outside Downing Street When: 2pm, Monday 31 May (nearest tube: Westminster)
Protest called by PSC, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, Friends of Al Aqsa
2. EMAIL THE FOREIGN OFFICE NOW - Send the template letter below to
3. EMAIL NICK CLEGG - Send the template letter to
Dear Mr [Clegg],
You will be aware that an international flotilla of ships is, at this moment, attempting to deliver essential humanitarian aid to Gaza. The aid includes construction materials which would enable the people of Gaza to rebuild the homes destroyed by Israel in Operation Cast Lead last year.
There are nearly 700 people on board the boats, all of whom are ordinary civilians from around the world, including 40 British citizens. They have undertaken this mission out of concern for the people of Gaza, who are now entering their fourth year under siege, without access to basic necessities. They pose no threat to Israel, and are completely unarmed.
Despite this, the Israeli navy is attempting to block the flotilla from reaching Gaza, and Israeli warships surrounded the boats on Sunday (30th May) night, while drones and a helicopter have been flying overhead. This hostile action has taken place in international waters.
I urge you to act swiftly to protect the flotilla, which is breaking no international laws, and, in particular, the British citizens on board, and to ensure that Israel allows this vital aid to reach its destination.
Israel's occupation of Gaza is illegal under international law, and it has been accused in a UN report of committing war crimes in Gaza.
Your obligation must be towards a group of citizens peacefully attempting to deliver humanitarian aid, than to a country which repeatedly violates international treaties and resolutions. Those on board the boats face a serious threat - I call on you to end the UK government's silence over Israel's aggressive actions against the flotilla, and intervene now to demand its safe passage to Gaza.
BIG DAN also has a good collection of videos and links to articles on the situation.
Protests erupt across world after Israeli raid
Video of protests
Commandos claim they used paintball guns
Israel a Lunatic State - Norman Finkelstein
Live coverage from Al Jazeera
Cynthia McKinney Mourns the Dead of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza
Gaza TV's phlog - George Galloway Speaks Out