Obama withholds condemnation of Gaza flotilla clashes, calls for clarification of ‘facts’
U.S. President Obama says he deeply regrets loss of life, plans to reschedule meeting with Netanyahu.
U.S. President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he deeply regretted the loss of life in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on Monday and urged him to quickly get to the bottom of the incident.
The White House’s cautious response, which contrasted with an outcry against Israel’s actions in Europe and the Muslim world, reflected a difficult balancing act for Obama.
He will face international pressure to join condemnation of Israel but must also be mindful that the close U.S. ally is popular with American lawmakers and voters. At the same time, fledgling U.S.-led Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts are at risk of collapse.
The flotilla was organized by the Free Gaza Movement, a coalition of leftist human rights activists and pro-Palestinian groups engaged in attempts to break a blockade imposed by Israel on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Ayers, Dohrn and Evans’ Code Pink have led several recent Free Gaza Movement initiatives, including attempted marches into the Gaza Strip. Dorhn was in the Middle East just last month on behalf of the movement.
Ayers and Dohrn were close associates for years with President Obama, while Evans was a fundraiser and financial bundler for Obama’s presidential campaign.
Turkish PM says raid on Gaza-bound aid flotilla ‘totally contrary to principles of international.’ Merkel speaks with Netanyahu, Erdogan in bid to ease tensions. Irish PM: Israel de facto occupying force in Gaza
Published: 05.31.10, 19:30 / Israel News
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Israel of state terrorism after Israeli marines stormed a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza.
“This action, totally contrary to the principles of international law, is inhumane state terrorism. Nobody should think we will keep quiet in the face of this,” Erdogan told reporters from Chile, where he was cutting short an official visit to Latin America to deal with the crisis.
The raid, in which at least 10 pro-Palestinian activists were killed, triggered a diplomatic crisis and plans for an emergency session of the UN Security Council.
European nations, as well as the United Nations and Turkey, voiced outrage at the bloody end to the bid to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Its navy stopped six ships ferrying 700 people and 10,000 tons of supplies toward the Islamist-run Palestinian enclave.
Soldiers describe takeover of protest ship ‘Mavi Marmara.’
“They came for war,” was how one Israeli Navy commando described the activists aboard the Mavi Marmara Turkish passenger boat where clashes erupted early Monday morning and ended with at least nine activists dead and dozens others, including eight IDF soldiers, injured.
“Operation Sea Breeze”, as it was called by the IDF, actually began several hours earlier at about 11 pm Sunday night as the Navy made its initial contact with the Mavi Marmara and the other five ships which were part of an international aid flotilla on its way to try and break the Israel-imposed sea blockade on Gaza.
Obama tells Netanyahu on phone: We need raid ‘facts’ ASAP
US President Barak Obama postpones Oval Office meeting with the prime minister, presses for IDF flotilla-raid details, expresses “deep regret at loss of life.”
WASHINGTON Ð US President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday after the latter cancelled a planned Oval Office meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
During their 15-minute conversation, Obama conveyed his understanding for Netanyahu’s decision to return immediately to Israel from Canada and not stop in Washington following the deadly clash between the IDF and activists trying to break the Gaza blockade earlier in the day.
Netanyahu: I regret Gaza flotilla deaths, but Israeli troops had right to self-defense
PM cancels meeting with Obama, promises to keep him updated on developments in aftermath of incident; Barak: Organizers of Gaza flotilla to blame for deadly clashes.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he regretted the loss of life sustained by international activists after Israel Navy commandos stormed a flotilla bringing aid to the Gaza Strip, but said the Israeli troops who opened fire were justified for defending themselves.
About fifteen foreigners who were removed from boats trying to beat the naval blockade of Gaza were brought to the Be’er Sheva jail on Monday evening for classification. The windows of the bus that brought them were sealed and there was no way to make contact.
Ahead of the people’s arrival to be checked, barricades were put up in front of the jailyard by military police and the prisons service.