The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s deadly raid on the Gaza aid ship and called for an “impartial“ inquiry into the bloodshed.
The statement said the body “deeply regrets the loss of life” but stopped short of calling for an independent investigation following US objections.
Speaking to reporters after hours of diplomatic bartering, Security Council President Claude Heller of Mexico reiterated the UN’s condemnation of the raid.
“We also underline the importance that Israel releases the people detained,” Heller said.
Diplomats met late into the night as the US pushed to have an earlier draft of the text watered down, which referred to an independent inquiry.
Alejandro Wolff, US Deputy Ambassador to the UN, said: “We have every confidence that Israel can conduct a credible, impartial, transparent and prompt investigation.”
As the UN hammered out its statement of condemnation, the chorus of critical voices spilled over onto US streets.
Demonstrations were held in a number of US cities including New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
The protesters shouted pro-Palestinian slogans and called on Israel to end its three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.