U.S. president urges probe into Israeli attack on Gaza-bound aid ship
U.S. President Barack Obama called on Israel to carry out a careful investigation into Monday's attack on a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid convoy in neutral waters, which left at least 10 people dead, RIA Novosti reported.
"The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals. The President also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning's tragic events as soon as possible," the White House said in a statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret over the loss of life, but said he fully supported the Israeli military, who stormed a ship in neutral waters and shot to kill.
"The [Israeli] soldiers were stabbed and hit and even shot at. We regret every death but our soldiers were forced to defend themselves," he said.
Obama was to meet with Netanyahu on Tuesday, but the Israeli official left Canada shortly after news of the incident became known.
The two leaders rescheduled their meeting and agreed to meet at "at the first opportunity."
Arab media said 16 people were killed and more than 30 injured when the Israeli military stormed the six-ship Freedom Flotilla carrying some 10,000 tons of aid to Gaza and 600 human rights activists earlier on Monday. The Israeli Army's press service confirmed the deaths of more than 10 people.