News / Middle East

US Calls on Israelis and Palestinians to Avoid Another Deadly Confrontation

The United States is calling on all parties in the Middle East to avoid another deadly confrontation between Israeli commandos and pro-Palestinian activists trying to bring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says U.S. officials are in contact with multiple countries about an Irish aid ship with pro-Palestinian activists on board heading to the Gaza Strip.

"Everybody wants to avoid another confrontation and avoid a repeat of Monday's tragic events," said Crowley. "We have been in touch with the Irish government. They are in turn in touch with the individuals on board the Rachel Corrie. We would hope to see the Rachel Corrie and other vessels work with Israeli authorities to deliver these materials to Gaza."

Organizers with the Free Gaza Movement say the Rachel Corrie is loaded with 20 tons of aid, including construction materials, the group says Israel will not allow into the Gaza Strip because of a blockade against the militant Hamas government that controls Gaza.

On Monday eight Turks and an American of Turkish origin were killed after Israeli commandos raided their ship in the Mediterranean Sea as it headed to Gaza.

The activists were on the ship as part of an aid convoy arranged by a Turkish group trying to break Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The blockade has been in effect since the violent takeover of Gaza by Hamas in 2007 and is designed to stop weapons smuggling and rocket fire into the Jewish state.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley (File)
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley (File)

Crowley says U.S. officials and those from a variety of countries are discussing proposals to increase the flow of humanitarian goods into Gaza, while also supporting Israel's security concerns.

"We are working with the Israelis," he said. "We are working with the Palestinian Authority and other international partners. We are looking to see how we can best accomplish this. We hope in the meantime that everybody here will make responsible decisions and avoid unnecessary confrontations."

The U.S. is urging Israel to conduct a transparent, impartial and credible investigation into Monday's raid.

While there is much skepticism about an Israeli inquiry, Crowley says the U.S. is exploring ways to make it credible.

"We continue to talk to Israel about how that investigation will be conducted and as the secretary has indicated how, perhaps how, there might be an international role for this, including a role for the United States," he added.

Crowley says U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell has completed the latest round of indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which he called constructive and substantive.

In addition to those meetings, Mitchell attended the 2010 Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem.

Crowley says France, Italy and the United States pledged a combined $655 million for the development of the Palestinian private sector.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More