Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid ships carrying humanitarian aid en route from Cyprus to Gaza.
News agency Al Jazeera reported that 19 people were killed in the incident and dozens injured when Israeli soldiers intercepted and boarded the convoy, called the ‘Freedom Flotilla’, 65 kilometres from the coastline of Gaza.
The Israeli military confirmed that the attack took place in international waters. It claimed four soldiers were injured when demonstrators fought back with firearms and light weaponry.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent said the ship surrendered and that there was no fire from passengers or crew on the vessel.
Organisers of the flotilla carrying said it was carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including medical supplies.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas declared a three-day state of mourning, amid rising international condemnation of Israel from countries including Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have protested against the attacks.