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Radwan: Palmer report 'biased and illegitimate'

Sept. 4, 2011 1:35 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2011 8:03 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said Sunday that a UN report on Israel's deadly raid of a Gaza-bound aid boat was illegitimate and biased to Israel.

The report, released Friday, was written by a panel headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer. It found that Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip was legal, but that Israel used "excessive and unreasonable force" when its commandos raided the ship and killed nine Turkish civilians on board.

Speaking at a march to protest the report in Gaza City, Radwan said Palmer's findings contradicted other UN reports which considered Israel's blockade a war crime.

He called on the International Courts of Justice to bring justice to Palestinians.

Turkey said Saturday that it would apply next week for an investigation by the International Court of Justice into the legality of Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.

Despite Palmer's findings that Israeli soldiers used excessive force during the May 2010 flotilla raid, Tel Aviv refused to apologize for the killing of nine Turks and on Friday Ankara expelled Israel's ambassador and froze military agreements with Israel.

Aside from demanding an apology, and compensation for families, Turkey also insists Israel ends the blockade of Palestinians living in Gaza.

Radwan praised Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and thanked the Turkish people for supporting Palestinians.

He also urged activists to send more aid convoys to the Gaza Strip.
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