GAZA, May 31 (UPI) -- Israeli commandos stormed a flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, killing at least 10 activists and prompting worldwide condemnation Monday.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the organizers of the flotilla were responsible after 10 activists were killed when Israel Navy commandos stormed the ship overnight, Haaretz reported.
Meanwhile, Israel's prime minister said he will return home after international condemnation of his country's actions.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cut short a Canadian visit and canceled a scheduled Tuesday meeting with U.S. President Obama, CNN reported Monday.
In a phone call with Netanyahu Monday morning, Obama said he understood the prime minister's decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with events.
Media accounts offered conflicting numbers of the reported dead, with some reporting as many as 20 activists killed when Israeli commandos stormed the flotilla, Haaretz said. However, several Israeli and international media outlets reported 10 activists died.
The wounded, estimated to be about 50, were taken to Israeli hospitals and the ships were being escorted to Israel's Ashdod port, where the passengers and aid supplies would be unloaded and screened. At least four Israeli forces were injured, Israeli officials said.
Turkey's Foreign Affairs Ministry said Israeli troops "used force against civilians ... who wished to take humanitarian aid to Gazan people," Anadulo Ajansi reported.
"We harshly condemn such an inhuman treatment by Israel," the ministry said, adding, Israel's actions "may lead to irredeemable consequences in our bilateral relationships.
Officials said Israel's ambassador to Turkey has been called to the ministry in Ankara to explain, CNN said. France and Greece also called on Israeli ambassadors for an explanation.
White House spokesman Bill Burton said the United States "deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy."
The European Union and the United Nations also condemned the raid, The Washington Post reported. The EU called for an inquiry into the deaths.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said there was no excuse for an attack "by armed forces on a humanitarian convoy," CNN said. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning.
In Jerusalem, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said the soldiers were forced to respond with live rounds when they were met by violent activists, Haaretz said.
Israel's National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel warning to Israelis in Turkey, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said at least two guns were found aboard the ships and used to fire at troops, of whom four were injured.
One organizer denied to The New York Times that Israeli military personnel were greeted with weapons fire.