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Copyright Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday June 2, 2010
TIsrael struck a defiant tone Tuesday over its lethal raid of a Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla, saying it had nothing to apologize for even as much of the world called for an end to its three-year blockade of the coastal Palestinian enclave.

Israel's hard-line response came as organizers of the flotilla said they were sending another ship to attempt to break the siege, which began after the militant Palestinian group Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

The border restrictions were partly eased Tuesday when Egypt, facing diplomatic pressure from fellow Muslim nations, announced it would open its own crossing into the Gaza Strip at Rafah to allow shipments of humanitarian and medical supplies.

The government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has closed the border for all but a few days each month in an effort to weaken Hamas. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

Meanwhile, activists released by Israel began issuing their accounts of the confrontation at sea that left nine activists dead.

On Wednesday, Jordan said 124 activists detained in the raid arrived in Jordan after being deported from neighboring Israel.

A government spokesman Nabil Al-Sharif said there were 30 Jordanians in the group. Jordan is one of two Arab nations with a signed peace treaty with Israel.

The initial firsthand versions had come almost exclusively from the Israeli government, which jammed communication with the flotilla and incarcerated most of the activists once ashore. Israel's military released video it said showed its commandos being attacked on board the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship leading a Turkish-sponsored convoy, by activists armed with sticks and other weapons. It said its commandos fired live rounds only in self-defense. Continued...


Israel resists calls to apologize for raid
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