Yaakov Katz and Hilary Leila Krieger
The Jerusalem Post
June 3, 2010

The Obama administration has stressed to Jerusalem the need to prevent a recurrence of the deadly Israeli commandeering of a ship bound for Gaza, as other boats make their way to the area.

shayetet 13
Flotilla (Shayetet) 13.

“What’s most important to the president is that events like the one that transpired a couple nights ago don’t transpire again,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said Wednesday. “So we are talking to our partners and are hopeful that we won’t see a repeat.”

Burton described the president as “confident that we’re having productive conversations with them” on how to avoid a similar outcome.

Still, the Israel Navy will likely choose the same unit – Flotilla (Shayetet) 13 – to lead a commandeering operation of the ships expected to try to break the sea blockade of Gaza later this week, according to defense officials.

“No other unit has the capabilities that the shayetet has in boarding and commandeering ships in the middle of the ocean,” one defense official said Wednesday. “They are the best unit for the operation.”

The unit came under criticism this week after commandos killed nine passengers during the raid of the Turkish passenger ship Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla attempting to break the blockade.

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