June 25th, 2011
09:54 AM ET

State Department ups warnings to Gaza flotilla activists

The State Department Friday ramped up warnings to Americans not to join other international activists in a flotilla, expected to sail soon, aimed at challenging Israel’s maritime blockage of the Gaza strip.

Asked by CNN at a news conference Friday about the plan Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “We don't think it is useful, or productive or helpful to the people of Gaza."

"We have certainly encouraged that American citizens not participate in the flotilla,” she said, “and we are urging that all precautions be taken to avoid any kind of confrontation."

According to organizers, the flotilla is meant to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a May, 2010 flotilla that resulted in a clash in international waters with Israeli navy commandos in which nine people were killed, including an American citizen.