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    Activists and Israelis trade blame

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    ODN

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    Israelis and activists have traded blame for violence on board Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship that led to death of nine people.


    Dozens of Israeli demonstrators gathered outside a courtroom in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, where Islamic movement leader Sheikh Raed Slalah - who was on board the boat - was brought. Holding up Israeli flags and signs denouncing Turkey, the protesters shouted "Arabs out" toward Salah's family.


    Israeli Arab parliament member Taleb Al Sana told reporters outside the courtroom that the Israeli forces could have avoided using live ammunition on board the boat.


    "IDF soldiers are able to neutralize resistance without bringing about such a terrible result. The result in itself is evidence of a resounding failure a lack of morals and ethics," he said.


    An unnamed Israeli commando who took part in the operation said the soldiers acted in self defence. "There were tens of people there, 95 per cent of which were holding knives and batons and they were just attacking us" he said.


    European nations, as well as the United Nations and Turkey, voiced shock and outrage at the bloody end to the international campaigners' bid to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. Once-close Muslim ally, Turkey, accused Israel of "terrorism" in international waters.