(CNN) -- Israel's attack Monday on a boat traveling in international waters and carrying humanitarian supplies for Gaza killed at least nine people and sparked a series of recriminations around the world.
Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, condemned the attack and called for an independent investigation "to know who gave the orders from the Israeli side to open fire against civilians and to bring those people to face justice."
But Israeli officials described the boat's passengers as the aggressors and said the soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces were simply defending themselves.
"They are not peace activists. They were not messengers of goodwill," Daniel Carmon, Israel's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters in New York. "They cynically used the guise of humanitarian aid to send a message of hate and to implement violence."
Independent information was scant. The death toll and the account of what happened came from the Israelis, who did not release the names of any of the casualties. "Free Gaza," one of the group's sponsors, said there were more casualties from the incident, though it didn't have an exact number.
The surviving passengers were being held incommunicado by the Israelis, who detained them after escorting the six boats that had participated in the flotilla to the Israeli port city of Ashdod.
Q&A on Israel's Gaza blockade
Three sailors who took part in the flotilla said Israeli troops stormed the Mavi Marmara, the largest ship, well into international waters.
"The commandos were coming down from the helicopter. No one on the ships had any weapons," one of the sailors told CNN Turk after being flown back to Istanbul.
The Free Gaza organization, one of the organizers of the protest, posted on its Twitter page that the incident unfolded about 4:30 a.m., when Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara by helicopter. The troops "immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians," the group said.
i.e. hate must be dealt with using bullets of love? Against people wielding clubs?
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