Update – Haaretz: Netanyahu cancels Obama meeting in wake of deadly Gaza flotilla clashes
My sifting of the news so far: NYT says at least 10 dead, Al Jazeera says at least 19 (and tens of thousands protesting in Turkey). Unconfirmed reports from Haifa hospital say 25-26 dead. AJE is most informative.
And apparently even Israel does not deny that this was in international waters:
From Al Jazeera (the clearest account I have read yet):
"Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."
Israel claims that the activists were armed but i) this seems extremely unlikely, and ii) if in international waters it would seem to be their right to have arms.
Alison Weir’s site, If Americans Knew, has list of names of Americans who were on the ships, including one who was a survivor of the attack on the USS Liberty! Connections must be made to the USS Liberty, but this is even worse because these are civilians.
Key question: Obama cannot meet with Netanyahu after this – can he? Is he *that* desperate for AIPAC support of midterm elections that he will ignore this and be nice to Netanyahu?
In Boston there is a protest today at the Park street T stop at 4, perhaps others now being planned.
Meanwhile Rich Siegel translates Turkish television:
"We have spoken to several spokespersons from the governments of the people on board and all of them are showing their utmost digust". Back to studio: "Can you in Gaza tell us more about the situation on the ships?" No, only unconfirmed rumours and unconfirmed echos from the Israeli press claiming 15, 20 dead and 2 wounded Israeli soldiers. The people in Gaza are still waiting on the coast in a sea of Turkish and Palestinian flags.
Off camera: Israeli tv claims that there are 16 dead while a top negotiator for the Turkish government has called an emergency meeting, a Turkish navy bigwig was present. The risk of a military confrontation is not very likely between the two naval powers though. Al Jazeera is saying that there are still scuffles going on on the Mavi Marmara because there seems to be some resistance from the people on the lower decks who are being ordered on the top deck by the Israelis. There is serious resistance on the lower decks. Mass protests are awaited in Turkey. Some Turkish professor says that Israel has become a symbol for barbarity today …