Gaza flotilla


On Monday, May 31, 2010, Israel Navy troops boarded half a dozen ships that made up a flotilla headed from Turkey for the Gaza Strip. The six-vessel convoy had the intent of breaking through a comprehensive blockade Israel had placed on the coastal territory.

The navy took control of five of the ships without incident, but resistance by activists on the sixth vessel led to clashes that claimed the lives of nine of the boat's passengers, and left dozens of activists and soldiers wounded.

Israel had requested that the flotilla turn off its course, and head for the Israeli port of Ashdod, where the aid it was carrying could be transferred via land to Gaza. This was rejected by the flotilla, leading Israel to dispatch its troops to intercept the ships before they reached Gaza.

The action was condemned internationally, in particular by Turkey, which recalled its ambassador and branded Israel a "terrorist state."