U.S. Treads Cautiously On Israel Flotilla Crisis

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called for "careful" responses to Israel's attack on a Gaza-bound flotilla, ignoring Turkey's demands for outright condemnation of the deadly assault. Clinton, speaking amid a crisis that has poisoned ties between two close U.S. allies and could imperil moves to relaunch the Middle East peace process, indicated the United States would not quickly join the international outcry against Israel over Monday's attack. President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Turkey's prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, to express his condolences over the loss of life in the Israeli raid and said the United States was working with Israel to secure the release of activists who had been aboard the flotilla of ships. Clinton earlier met Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who had demanded Washington take a clear stand against Israeli actions, which saw at least nine pro-Palestinians activists killed, most of them Turks.