In a telephone call with Erdogan, Obama expressed his condolences for those 
killed in the raid, four of them Turks, and reiterated U.S. support for an 
impartial investigation "of the facts surrounding this tragedy," the White 
House said.

He said it was important to find "better ways to provide humanitarian 
assistance to the people of Gaza without undermining Israel's security," the 
White House statement added.

"I think the situation from our perspective is very difficult and requires 
careful, thoughtful responses from all concerned," Secretary of State Hillary 
Clinton told reporters in Washington.

The United Nations called for an impartial investigation of the deaths of the 
nine people, four of them Turks.

The Israeli military said the deaths occurred when commandos stormed the Mavi 
Marmara, the cruise ship on which most of the violence occurred, from 
helicopters and dinghies and opened fire in what Netanyahu said was 

The U.N. Security Council statement drew a sharp response from Israel, which 
said its foreign minister complained in a telephone call with U.N. 
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that it was condemned unfairly for "defensive 

Cairo announced the opening of its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, which is 
ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt's main opposition. 

Hamas requested the opening. Cairo, coordinating with Israel, has rarely opened 
the border since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007. 

While Israel grappled with world criticism, its navy said it was ready to 
intercept another aid vessel that organizers of the flotilla planned to send to 
the Gaza Strip next week. 

Netanyahu convened his security cabinet to debate what Israeli critics called a 
botched raid, and ministers said the naval blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians 
living in the Gaza Strip would continue, despite condemnation from allies. 

"The opening of a sea route to Gaza would pose a tremendous risk to the 
security of our citizens. Therefore we continue a policy of a naval blockade," 
Netanyahu told his ministers. 



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