Business Week: U.S. Confirms Citizen Shot Dead in Gaza Flotilla Raid

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2010-06-06 14:46:39   U.S. Confirms Citizen Shot Dead in Gaza Flotilla Raid (Update4)June 03, 2010, 6:35 PM EDT More From Businessweek Rolex Watch Maker Reports 15.7 Kilos of Stolen Gold, LCI Says New Orleans Judge Sells Oil Spill Investments to Avoid Conflict Telstra Talks on Splitting Assets May Take Months, Thodey Says Frech G20 Presidency to Seek to Cut Currency Imbalances: Lagarde U.S. Urges Gaza Aid Ship to Change Course, Avoid Confrontation Story Tools e-mail this story print this story digg this save to add to Business Exchange (Updates with report Dogan shot in head in 12th paragraph.) By Nicole Gaouette June 3 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. confirmed that an American citizen, identified as 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, was killed by multiple gunshots during the Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying activists attempting to run a blockade of the Gaza Strip. “We have made no decisions at this point on any additional actions our government should take with respect to our citizens,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who urged Israel to investigate swiftly. She said the U.S. is seeking ways to widen the flow of aid to Gaza. Israeli commandos on May 31 raided six ships carrying humanitarian aid workers and activists trying to break Israel’s blockade, in place since 2007. The operation, in which nine people died, has led to international criticism, demands for an investigation and for an end to restrictions on sea traffic. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may ease the blockade and allow an international force to check aid coming on ships, Israel’s Channel Two television news said today. Netanyahu has defended the Israeli military action as necessary to protect Israel by preventing weapons from being shipped to the militant Islamic group Hamas, which has run Gaza since 2007. “Our responsibility is to examine every ship going to Gaza, to stop the weapons and to let other cargo enter,” Netanyahu said yesterday. “If we don’t do that the result is going to be an Iranian port in Gaza.” There is widespread public support in Israel for enforcing the blockade of Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., Israel and European Union. International Role Clinton said the U.S. is urging Israel to consider international participation in any investigation of the raid it conducts. She said she didn’t know whether American observers would be involved. “We expect the Israeli government to conduct a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation that conforms to international standards and gets to all the facts surrounding this tragic event,” Clinton said. “We are open to different ways to assuring it is a credible investigation, including urging appropriate international participation.” Main Ship The violence during the raid took place on the Mavi Marmara, one of six ships in the flotilla. The other five vessels were intercepted without violence. The decision to use military force on the sixth ship had to do with its size, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, said yesterday. “The particular ship that did encounter the violent incident was simply too large to stop by nonviolent means,” Oren said on National Public Radio. “The other ships were not, and that is one of the reasons they were towed safely to port.” The Mavi Marmara was carrying 581 passengers, about 300 of them Turkish and the remainder from about 30 other countries including Greece, the U.K. and Algeria, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on May 31. Arinc accused Israel of “piracy” for boarding the vessels in international waters. The Turkish news agency Anatolia reported that Dogan had four bullet wounds to the head and one to the chest. Dogan was born in Troy, New York, according to State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley. The Dogan family now has his body, which is en route to their hometown in Turkey for burial, Crowley said. At the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs said that President Barack Obama, upon hearing that an American had been killed, “expressed his deep condolences” to Dogan’s family. Gibbs, speaking at his daily reporters’ briefing, didn’t indicate that the death of a U.S. citizen would change the administration’s approach to the matter. Americans Injured A second American was injured on the ships and a third in a subsequent protest, according to Clinton. The U.S. is looking into what had happened to the Americans involved, she said. “Protecting the welfare of American citizens is a fundamental responsibility of our government and one that we take very seriously,” Clinton said. “We are in constant contact with the Israeli government attempting to obtain more information.” Clinton said this week that the situation in the Gaza Strip is “unsustainable and unacceptable” and that “ultimately the solution to this must be found in an agreement on a two-state solution negotiated” between Israel and the Palestinians. The flotilla raid and the uproar surrounding it haven’t affected talks between Palestinians and Israelis, Crowley said. U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, speaking in Bethlehem, said there should be a renewed focus on the talks. –Editors: Edward DeMarco, Ann Hughey. To contact the reporter on this story: Nicole Gaouette in Washington at ngaouette@bloomberg…. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.n…   Are you interested in what’s really going on in the world, behind the facade? Then…www.checktheevidence… happened on 9/11?    

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