WASHINGTON - The United States warned on Thursday that a new effort by pro-Palestinian activists to send a flotilla to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip was dangerous and urged US citizens not to take part.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington had been in touch with the Turkish government on Thursday about the flotilla, and had also spoken to Israeli officials.
"My sense of this was that, given the way this came together there was some element of surprise for both the Turkish government and our own government," Nuland said.
She said the United States had sought clarification on news reports that Turkish warships might be accompanying the flotilla and were told "quite emphatically" by Turkey that this was not the case.
"We've been clear to them that we think that would be an extremely bad idea and they've now reassured us that that is not what they are doing in this case," she said.