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Qatar condemns Israel
Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla yesterday, killing at least nine pro-Palestinian activists in a pre-dawn raid that sparked global outrage.

HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani yesterday condemned Israel’s deadly raid against a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, branding it an “act of piracy”.
“The crimes that were committed at dawn today... remind all of us that there is an unjust blockade” in place against Gaza, the Emir told the 10th Doha Forum, calling for an end to the lockdown imposed by Israel.
“All those who speak of justice and freedom and democracy are now required to do something to break this blockade,” said Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa.
At least nine people were killed when Israeli commandos at dawn yesterday raided the convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip.
HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani praised the Emir’s call for an end to the crippling blockade of Gaza.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim underscored Qatar’s condemnation of the armed attack by Israel’s naval forces against the aid flotilla.
The Prime Minister termed the attack as “a premeditated assault on the innocent and a clear-cut violation of the international law and a flagrant breach to the international norms and conventions”.
“Who would pay for the blood of the innocent people killed in that brutal attack,” he asked. He held the international community responsible for accounting such “barbaric practices which have grave and negative repercussions threatening and destabilising the security and stability in the region”.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim expressed Qatar’s solidarity with Turkey and lauded its stand supporting justice and right.
Most of the bloodshed in the Israeli assault occurred on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish passenger ship carrying more than 600 people.
The Prime Minister questioned whether the Arab peace initiative would justifiably continue and to go ahead with the indirect and direct negotiations “especially after it has become clearly vivid that Israel is clearly opposing and rejecting peace”.
He wondered for how long the Arab countries and their people would be disregarded.
Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa, meanwhile, has called for a change in the strategy towards Israel.
Speaking at a session on “Insights on security and global stability”, held as part of the Doha Forum, he said the Arab patience was running out.
It is high time that US President Barak Obama took a firm stand on Israel as the 120 days period that he had sought for a solution to the Middle East crisis had already elapsed, said Moussa.
The Arab League chief wondered how safety, stability, security and peace in the region would be possible when Israel was getting away with brutalities.
Later talking to AFP, Moussa slammed Israel’s deadly raid against the aid flotilla as a “crime”.
“We condemn this crime, taken against a humanitarian mission and people. They were trying to help people. They were not on a military mission. Everyone should condemn this,” Moussa said.
He warned that the Israeli action meant “everything” was now left “hanging in the air”, including US-brokered proximity talks that only started on May 9 between the Jewish state and the Palestinians.
“This is another message, a very powerful message, that Israel does not want peace, is not ready to enter into peace,” Moussa said .
“Lifting the siege (on Gaza) should be part of any confidence-building measures, any preparation for a successful round of proximity talks,” he added.
Moussa said he had called a meeting of the Arab League council to be held today to discuss the attack.
“We are all very angry,” he said. “Tomorrow, there will be a collective position taken.”
The six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) said in a statement that the Israeli attack was an act of “state terrorism” and secretary general Abdulrahman al-Attiyah called on the international community to “hunt the Israelis who were behind this crime, in order to bring them in front of the International Criminal Court”.
Kuwait, which has 16 of its citizens on board the aid flotilla, urged the permanent members of the UN Security Council to press Israel to ensure their safety.
The United Arab Emirates denounced the “barbaric aggression”, as Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan urged UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to investigate the attack and report back to the United Nations.
Israel knew “what might happen” to the aid convoy and had warned the activists against proceeding, an Israeli minister claimed.
“We were aware to what might happen - we warned them, and we told them that all that they were going to do is provocation,” Trade and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer told AFP on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum summit in Doha.
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Europe and the Middle East yesterday, clashing with police as they protested against the Israeli raid.

Source: http://www.gulf-times.com
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