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GAZA - At least 10 pro-Palestinian activists were killed and dozens were wounded aboard an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip when Israeli naval commandos seized control of the boats early Monday, the Israeli army said.
Some Israeli, Turkish and Arab media outlets put the death toll as high as 20 activists. The wounded were evacuated to Israeli hospitals and the ships were being led into Israel's Ashdod port, where the passengers and aid supplies are to be unloaded and screened. More than four naval personnel were also injured.
Richard Fernandez places this confrontation in the context of a number of recent anti-Israel developments and suggests that the combination of Iranian aggressiveness, a perception of Israeli weakness, and softening of US and European support for Israel are creating a dangerous situation throughout the region.
It will be interesting to see how the Obama administration reacts to these twin crises. Regarding Korea the response has been extraordinarily weak, deferring to China in all things. A similarly weak reaction to the Gaza provocation will reinforce the growing impression that the United States cannot be counted on to defend its allies anywhere in the world. And that perception of American disengagement, more than any other recent development, is making the world a much more dangerous place.