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The Illegality of Israel’s Blockade of Gaza and Attacks on the Free Gaza Flotilla

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In the pre-dawn hours of May 31, 2010, a six-boat flotilla carrying more than 700 civilians from almost 40 countries was overtaken by Israeli commandos in international waters. Israeli commandos attacked the largest ship in the flotilla, the passenger ferry Mavi Marmara, leaving one Turkish American and eight Turkish citizens dead and scores of people wounded. After being boarded, the ships were forcefully rerouted to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where the majority of the passengers were detained without charge before being deported from Israel. A ship flying under the flag of the United States, the Challenger I, continues to be held by Israel, as does property such as cameras, video equipment, cell phones and computers that may be valuable evidence in any subsequent investigations.

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