The Security Council today condemned Monday`s deadly Israeli military interception of a convoy of aid ships bound for Gaza, calling for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation. "
At least ten people were killed when Israeli forces took control of a six-ship flotilla yesterday morning in international waters, according to press reports. The convoy was said to have been carrying educational, medical and construction materials, as well as hundreds of activists from different countries.
In the run-up to yesterday`s incident, which was also condemned by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other United Nations officials, Israel has stated it would not let the vessels reach Gaza. The UN urged last week that all involved act with a sense of care and responsibility and work for a satisfactory resolution. "
In a presidential statement issued early this morning, the Council said that it deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. "
The 15-member body called on Israel to immediately release the ships and civilians sailing on them, allow the countries involved to retrieve their deceased and wounded, and ensure the delivery of the humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The Council stressed that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable, " again voicing its grave concern " over the humanitarian situation in the area and emphasizing the need for the regular movement of goods and people.
The UN has repeatedly spoken out against the closure of Gaza and raised concern over the insufficient flow of material into the area to meet basic needs and spur reconstruction. Mr. Ban cautioned in a recent meeting that the closure creates unacceptable suffering, hurts forces of moderation and empowers extremists. "
The Council today underscored that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the parties, " reiterating that only a two-State solution, with an independent and viable Palestinian State living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel and is other neighbours, could bring peace to the region. "
Voicing support for the proximity talks that started between the two sides last month, the Council urged the parties to act with restraint and avoid unilateral and provocative moves.
The UN Human Rights Council is holding a special meeting in Geneva on yesterday`s incident.