The Palestinian National Authority
Government Media Center

The Israeli Army forces have committed a crime against international supporters on board the “Freedom” Flotilla early this morning, who were seeking peaceful means to deliver humanitarian aid and end the unjust siege imposed by Israel on our people in Gaza. This crime resulted in a high number of victims, killed or injured. Nothing can excuse this attack by armed forces on a humanitarian convoy.

The Palestinian government strongly condemns this crime, which portrays, once again, Israeli disrespect for the lives of innocent civilians, and its disrespect for international law. It also reveals the dire need to put an end to Israel’s aggressive policy, by an unconditional and unlimited lifting of the siege on our people, mainly in Gaza.

The Palestinian government calls on the international community to condemn this crime, and reiterates the need to implement the repeated international calls for lifting the siege, including the international decision at the Sharm El Sheikh Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza and the European Union Declaration last December and other international stands, calling for practical steps that commit Israel to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and respect the unity of the Palestinian territories.

The government also considers the right Palestinian response to this crime to be in speeding an end to the internal division, and calls on all parties, especially Hamas movement, to positively respond to the efforts to achieve national reconciliation and reunite the homeland and unify the Palestinian efforts against the Israeli occupation policies of siege and settlements, and mobilize the energy of our people towards ending the occupation and building the homeland.

The Palestinian government offers its condolences to the families of the victims and to the Palestinian people as a whole and to all the freedom fighters in the world and calls for a three-day mourning. Following directions of the president, Palestinian flags will be put at half-mast at Palestinian official buildings.