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June 8th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Flotilla clash still making waves in Middle East politics

CNN Wire Staff

Pro-Palestinian protesters on Monday in Ashdod call for the release of the passengers on the Freedom Flotilla.

Pro-Palestinian protesters on Monday in Ashdod call for the release of the passengers on the Freedom Flotilla.

The political repercussions of Israel's raid of boats carrying aid to Gaza last week continued to ripple across the Middle East and showed no signs of slowing Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters outside an Asian security summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the killing of nine Turkish activists by Israeli naval commandos aboard one vessel in the flotilla "will change many issues in the world" and marked the "final countdown" for Israel's existence.

"It shows that it has no room in the region, and no one is ready to live alongside it," he told reporters.

His comments came as more aid ships, some backed by regional powers, prepared to set sail.

Israel has said its naval blockade is in place to stop weaponry from reaching militants in Gaza intent on attacking Israel. But critics say the three-year blockade - imposed after Hamas took over Gaza - has deepened poverty in the Palestinian territory.


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Filed under: Israel • Middle East • Palestine
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