Israel says its raid on the so-called Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, which left nine activists dead, was a justified defense of its economic blockade of Gaza. Legal scholars aren't so sure.
On one side, a Turkish draft resolution at the UN Security Council described the attack as a violation of international law. On the other, Israel’s foreign ministry insists that international maritime law prohibits boats from entering an area subject to a maritime blockade and that vessels attempting to violate this may be captured or even attacked.
The debate is focusing global attention on the Israeli economic blockade of the Gaza Strip like never before, with questions being raised about the morality and legality of a three-year old blockade that Israel says is vital to its security but has led to medicine shortages, power outages, and, critics say, unnecessary deaths in the impoverished strip.
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