[…] The other possible reason is that the far rightwing government of Binyamin Netanyahu and his foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman gave a green light to the commandos to respond with excessive force. That is, the deaths and woundings may have been a brutally frank warning to any future Gaza aid activists that they are taking their lives in their hands if they plan any more flotillas to help the Palestinians. The Israeli far right may have felt that there was otherwise a danger that in a few months there would be an even bigger flotilla and that eventually the blockade of Gaza would be broken. Juan Cole

BREAKING (10:00 am): AP reports Israeli prime minister’s office says he’s canceling White House visit to deal with Gaza crisis.


more at Huffington Post

According to the reports, Israel IDF fired on the ship carrying Gaza aid in international waters killing at least 10 people and causing pandemonium among Palestinians and outrage in Muslim communities. According to the New York Times, “according to the official Wafa news,” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called the Israeli actions “a massacre.” More:

The Israeli Navy raided a flotilla carrying thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza in international waters on Monday morning, killing at least 10 people, according to the Israeli military and activists traveling with the flotilla. Some Israeli media reports put the death toll higher.

The incident drew widespread international condemnation, with Israeli envoys summoned to explain their country’s actions in several European countries.

The criticism offered a propaganda coup to Israel’s foes, particularly the Hamas group that holds sway in Gaza, and damaged its ties to Turkey, one of its most important Muslim partners and the unofficial sponsor of the Gaza-bound convoy. Ankara recalled its ambassador to Israel and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cut short a visit to Latin America to return. […]

The actions of the Israeli government continue to make no sense, especially where Gaza is concerned. They are courting mass condemnation through this aggressive act, with Turkey, once a valuable ally in a sea of hostility moving further away from Israel.

Anyone believing that the Netanyahu government wants “peace” is whistling past the diplomatic graveyard.

Israel’s prime minister has expressed his support for the militray’s actions in a deadly raid against an aid flotilla sailing to the blockaded Gaza Strip. Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says he spoke Monday to top Israeli diplomatic and security officials by telephone from Canada and voiced his “full backing” for the military. – AP

David Kurtz has a running breakdown of the timeline on the incident and links that take you through the latest developments.

This post has been updated.