Israel threatens to attack 'Rachel Corrie' relief ship


According to news reports, Israel is pressuring the government of Ireland to order the ship "Rachel Corrie," which is carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, to change course and dock at the Israeli port of Ashdod--or face the same fate as the freedom flotilla.

In an attempt to justify its actions to the international community, the Israeli army on Thursday released footage showing that it was the flotilla activists that had started assaulting Israeli soldiers.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, thousands of citizens celebrated the safe return of 527 Turkish activists from Israel, while angry protests continued to be staged all over the country.

The New York Times reported that Turkey's role as guardian of the rights of Palestinians has denigrated Arab countries and thrown Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia--the biggest allies of the West--on the defensive.

The Guardian, for its part, reported that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was torn between siding with the Arabs and safeguarding his country's interests with neighboring Israel.

In a related development, Arab diplomats called for activating Arab League resolutions and urging the UN Security Council to indict Israel for its recent actions.

In Cairo, 50 activists and public figures on Thursday submitted a note to the attorney-general requesting the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his defense minister Ehud Barak on war crimes charges for their involvement in the freedom flotilla massacre.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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