Netherlands 'shocked' by deadly Israeli raid on aid ships

31st May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The Netherlands expressed shock over the Israeli army's deadly raid on aid ships bound for Gaza Monday and said it would ask Israel for "clarifications" about the incident which has triggered worldwide condemnation.

"I am going to ask today for clarifications from the Israeli ambassador to The Hague," said Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen in a statement.

"I am very shocked over the deaths which are deplorable. The Netherlands wants an inquiry to determine exactly how this could have happened," Verhagen said.

The latest toll from the raid was 19 passengers killed and 36 injured, according to Israeli television.

"What happened today, while the Israelis and Palestinians were just starting to relaunch talks, will not bring them closer to peace," the Dutch minister added. "I hope that it will not lead to another deadlock in the talks."

Foreign ministry spokesman Bart Rijs told AFP he did not know if any Dutch citizens were on board the ships carrying aid to the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory.

© 2010 AFP

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