UN Holds Emergency Meeting over Gaza Attack

New York, June 1 (DPA) The UN Security Council met in emergency session Monday less than 24 hours after Israel's lethal military operation against a humanitarian aid flotilla off the coast of Gaza.

According to French diplomatic sources, the Council sought consensus on a statement to condemn the attack. It was not seeking a resolution, which would be binding on all parties involved.

At least nine civilians died and 30 more were seriously injured when the Israeli military stormed a flotilla of six ships bound for the Gaza Strip with aid. Israel said its soldiers were attacked by weapons.

Behind closed doors, all 15 Security Council members were expected to express their views on the bloody Mediterranean incident. Israeli and Palestinian representatives would also be heard, officials said.

Before the session, Riyad Mansour, the permanent observer of Palestine to the UN, said the attack was a "massacre" and a crime "against international law and international humanitarian law".

He asked the Security Council to order an independent international probe on the incident. The investigation, he noted, should bring those responsible for the attack before the courts.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in Uganda, also called for a "full investigation to determine exactly how this bloodshed took place".

Lebanon's Nawaf Salam, elected in May as Security Council president, called the meeting at Turkey's request, diplomats said. The UN headquarters in New York were officially closed Monday, for the US Memorial Day public holiday.

According to the UN Charter, the Security Council is responsible for peace and security around the world.


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Title: UN Holds Emergency Meeting over Gaza Attack

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