Hundreds rally in support of Israeli raid on flotilla at L.A. Turkish Consulate
About 1,000 people were protesting in front of the Turkish Consulate in Mid-Wilshire on Tuesday evening in support of Israel's deadly raid of a protest flotilla that tried to break through a blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The L.A. activists, members of StandWithUs and other groups, said that the vessel boarded by Israeli commandos was carrying weapons intended for members of Hamas. They said the ship was flying under a Turkish flag.
"We're very concerned about Hamas and weapons coming to Hamas," Roz Rothstein, chief executive of StandWithUs, said in a telephone interview. "What you saw was Israel trying to protect its citizens."
She said "hundreds and hundreds" of people had gathered in front of the consulate in the 6300 block of Wilshire Boulevard. Los Angeles police estimated the crowd size at about 1,000 protesters.
The raid prompted a firestorm of international condemnation of Israel's actions against the flotilla, which reportedly was trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
A spokesman for the consulate was not immediately available.
-- Robert J. Lopez and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Protesters gather at the Turkish Consulate. Credit: Peter Halmagyi.