U.N.: Israel Raid Legal but ‘Excessive’

On Friday, the United Nations is expected to release a review of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza last spring and a subsequent armed raid on a flotilla, which was manned by the Free Gaza Movement in an attempt to get humanitarian aid through the blockade. The U.N. said Israel’s blockade was a “legitimate security measure,” but that its use of force in the flotilla raid was “excessive and unreasonable,” resulting in the deaths of nine passengers. The review was completed months ago but its publication was delayed so that Israel and Turkey could mend tense relations, but both countries have said its release would likely make reconciliation more difficult. Turkey is not happy with the report’s conclusion that Israel’s naval blockade was legal, which gives Israeli forces the right to thwart Gaza-bound ships in international waters.