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Israeli commandos armed with guns attacked the lead ship of a flotilla of aid-carrying vessels bound for Gaza on Monday, leaving several of the pro-Palestinian activists on board dead and many more injured.

The Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of six ships carrying hundreds of activists, political leaders and journalists from around the world, was trying to deliver about 10,000 tonnes of basic aid including food, medicines, and construction material, in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

While Israel has said activists were the first to attack the troops with bats and knives when they boarded the ship, the flotilla's organisers said that Israeli forces were the ones to open fire first.

Al Jazeera's Ayman Moyheldin reports from Jerusalem.

Source: Al Jazeera