Statement on the Gaza Flotilla by National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer
The Government of Israel has stated its desire to avoid a confrontation and a repeat of Monday's tragic events on the Mavi Marmara. It remains a U.S. priority to provide assistance to the people of Gaza. In the interest of the safety of all involved, and the safe transmission of assistance to the people of Gaza, we strongly encourage those on board the Rachel Corrie and other vessels to sail to Ashdod to deliver their materials to Gaza.
We are working urgently with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and other international partners to develop new procedures for delivering more goods and assistance to Gaza, while also increasing opportunity for the people of Gaza and preventing the importation of weapons. The current arrangements are unsustainable and must be changed. For now, we call on all parties to join us in encouraging responsible decisions by all sides to avoid any unnecessary confrontations and to ensure the safety of all involved.