LONDON – Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that an Israeli raid on Gaza-bound aid ships was “completely unacceptable”.
The raid which killed nine people sparked protests around the globe
In his first public comments on the situation, Cameron said he had also spoken to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan “to extend our condolences for the Turkish citizens who have been lost”.
“What has happened is completely unacceptable, we should be clear about that and we should also deplore the loss of life,” Cameron told MPs at his first Prime Minister’s Questions session since taking power last month.
“We should do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again and I stressed this point in a conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel,” he added.
Nine people were killed, reportedly including four Turks, on Monday when a flotilla of boats heading for Gaza was boarded by Israeli commandos in international waters. Britain says 37 British nationals were on board.
Hundreds of activists were detained and are being deported from Israel.
Another ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, is currently en route for Gaza, potentially setting up a fresh showdown.
On the blockade of Gaza, Cameron added: “Friends of Israel, and I count myself a friend of Israel, should be saying to the Israelis that the blockade actually strengthens Hamas’s grip on the economy and on Gaza and it’s in their own interests to lift it”.
In a statement to the House of Commons following Cameron’s remarks, Foreign Secretary William Hague said London had “expressed our disappointment” to Israel over unsatisfactory consular access to Britons.
“We have not yet been given full information about British nationals detained and access to all of them,” Hague said.
“We are urgently pressing the Israeli government to resolve this situation within hours.
“There is real, understandable and justified anger at the events which have unfolded.”