Tuesday: U.N. Condemns Israeli Raid; Holder Visits Gulf; al-Qaida No. 3 Killed
A militant from the Palestinian Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine jumps over burning tires during a demonstration in Ain al-Helweh refugee camp near the Lebanese city of Sidon. Photo by Mahmoud Zayat/AFP/Getty Images.
International criticism against an Israeli raid on a humanitarian flotilla delivering aid to the Gaza Strip intensified on Tuesday, as the United Nations Security Council issued a statement against the operation that resulted in nine deaths and called for an impartial investigation into the incident.
“The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting form the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza,” the statement read in part.
It was reached following a marathon negotiating session that lasted nearly 12 hours. As the BBC reports:
“The UN statement was the result of a compromise between Turkey and the United States, with Turkey reluctant to water down its trenchant criticism of Israel while the United States, Israel’s closest ally, wanted to temper the language used.”
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that four Turkish citizens were among the dead.
Reports from Cairo said Egypt had offered a temporary easing of its own restrictions, opening its border with Gaza for a limited period to permit humanitarian aid to reach the 1.5 million people there.
The aid mission’s organizers, meanwhile, were preparing a second attempt to breach Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.
Foreign Policy’s Blake Hounshell explains “Why the Gaza boat deaths are a big deal”:
[T]here’s a huge unwillingness on the Israeli right to face reality — that Israel is fast losing friends and allies in the world, and that this government in Jerusalem has only accelerated the shift. It’s not hard to imagine boycott campaigns gaining momentum, damaging the Israeli economy and isolating the country diplomatically, especially in Europe.
BP Facing $990 Million Bill
With BP’s costs for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill now at $990 million, the company is preparing as early as Wednesday to begin yet another attempt to plug the six-week-old leak.
The pending operation involves using a dome to catch oil from the damaged pipeline some 5,000 feet below the surface. The company attempted a similar procedure in early May. This time around, however, BP engineers say they have resolved some of the technical problems that forced them to abandon the first attempt.
“The best hope for stopping the flow of oil from the blown-out well…has been compared to hitting a target the size of a dinner plate with a drill more than two miles into the earth, and is anything but a sure bet on the first attempt.”
While BP readies for the so-called cut-and-cap operation, Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to the Gulf Coast on Tuesday to survey the spill and meet with the attorneys general from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to determine whether federal criminal charges should be filed against BP.
Al-Qaida No. 3 Is Killed
Al-Qaida has confirmed that its No. 3 official, Mustafa al-Yazid, has been killed. The group did not say how or where al-Yazid died. It is believed that he was killed by an American missile strike in Pakistan’s tribal region in late May. Al-Yazid, an Egyptian, was a founding member of the terror group and its top commander in Afghanistan.