Sat, 05 Jun 2010 09:44:36 GMT
An Israeli commando lands on a Gaza-bound ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
An Israeli commando who shot dead several activists in a recent attack on a Gaza-bound international aid convoy may receive a medal of valor, a report says.
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The Times Online reported on Saturday that the nominated Israeli soldier single-handedly killed six campaigners on the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara -- one of the six ships of the Freedom Flotilla.
The convoy was carrying hundreds of activists and thousands of tons of supplies for the people of Gaza, who have been under siege for three years.
The flotilla came under attack on Monday by Israeli commandos, leaving at least nine activists dead and more than 40 others injured.
In an interview with Israeli media, the soldier -- identified for security reasons only as Staff Sergeant S -- said the shooting had started within minutes after he and his comrades were set upon by a "mob of mercenaries."
Israeli forces claim that pro-Palestinian activists on board the ships started the violence, while all activists say that Israelis began shooting from their boats surrounding the ship and a helicopter hovering above.
Granting the award to the commando is expected to worsen the already shaky relations between Turkey and Israel as Ankara has called on Tel Aviv to make an apology over the deadly assault.