The Palestinian’s warring rivals, Hamas and Fatah, have closed ranks following the attack on the blockade-runners.
In Gaza there were loud demonstrations to protest at the deaths on board the Freedom Flotilla, and Palestinian militants have been burning flags and whipping up crowds. Hamas’s leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said talking was useless with so much bloodshed;
“We call on the Palestinian Authority to stop the negotiations, both directly or indirectly .. Is not reasonable to continue these negotiations in light of this crime, which exceeded all limits,” he said.
Hamas are excluded from the talks process which only involves bitter rivals Fatah. Indirect talks between Palestinians and Israelis have only just resumed after a long break.
In Ramallah and throughout the West Bank there were protests too, Fatah officials of the Palestinian Authority being equally outspoken in their condemnation of the Israeli action.
Flags were brought down to half mast at the Authorities’ headquarters, and President Mahmoud Abbas ordered three days of mourning for the victims.