Obama: Israeli raid on aid flotilla was ‘tragic,’ loss of life ‘unnecessary’By AP
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Obama: Israeli raid on aid flotilla was ‘tragic’
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Thursday that the deadly Israeli raid on an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip was “tragic”, but he stopped short of condemning the actions of Israeli forces.
While Obama said the deaths of nine people were unnecessary, he said the U.S. wants to wait for “an investigation of international standards” to determine the facts. Israel, he said, should agree to such an investigation.
“They recognize that this can’t be good for Israel’s long-term security,” Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Larry King airing Thursday night.
Monday’s predawn raid of a flotilla attempting to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza has drawn international criticism and calls for Israel to end the blockade. Israel says the blockade is meant to keep weapons out of the hands of Hamas fighters, not keep aid from the reaching the Palestinian people, a view the U.S. generally supports.
Obama said the most recent incident presents an opportunity for all parties involved to break out of the current impasse and move toward a two-state solution in which Palestinians and Israelis can live peacefully side by side.
“We have been trying to do this piecemeal for decades now,” Obama said. “It just doesn’t work.”