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RIZ KHAN
Will Israel be held accountable?
We ask if the country will survive this crisis as it did the controversy over the Gaza war.
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2010 11:25 GMT



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Israel is facing a diplomatic firestorm over its deadly attack on a flotilla of six ships carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. The convoy was trying to break a blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza after Hamas took power there in 2007.

At least 10 people were killed when Israeli troops raided the vessels in international waters in an effort to stop the convoy from reaching Gaza.

Organisers of the flotilla say Israeli soldiers opened fire unprovoked and used excessive force on civilians. But Israel alleges that pro-Palestinian activists on board attacked its troops with metal rods, knives and pistols.

Most of the violence happened in the flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, expressed regret for the loss of life, but said Israeli soldiers had to defend themselves after they were "clubbed, stabbed and beaten".

But those actions have been condemned by international leaders. Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, criticised Israel's "disproportionate use of force".

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting with Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, calling for a "thorough investigation" into the violence.

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The European Union has also demanded an independent inquiry and Barack Obama, the US president, has urged Netanyahu to quickly get to the bottom of the incident.

On Tuesday's Riz Khan we ask: Will Israel be held accountable for its use of lethal force on the aid flotilla, or will it survive this crisis just as it did after the Gaza war?

Joining the discussion will be Arab-American writer and organiser Ramzi Kysia. He was with the Free Gaza Movement in 2008 to 2009 and currently serves as an officer for the Free Gaza US affiliate in Washington, D.C.

We will also have with us Mitchell Barak, a former communications assistant and speechwriter to Ariel Sharon when he was Israeli prime minister. He now heads KEEVOON, a research and political communications firm based in Israel.

You can join the conversation. Watch the show live at 1630GMT, with repeats at 2130GMT, and the next day at 0230GMT and 1130GMT.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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