By Sam Youngman - 06/02/10 06:03 PM EDT
President Barack Obama is talking to Middle East actors to avoid a repeat of a recent Israeli attack on an aid flotilla to Gaza, according to a White House spokesman.
White House spokesman Bill Burton said Wednesday the president remains committed to ensuring Israel's security, but he is working to avoid another incident like the weekend Israeli attack that left nine civilians dead.
Those statements come as more aid ships are reportedly trying to get around the Israeli blockade aimed at preventing weapons from reaching Hamas and extremists.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a trip to the White House to return to Israel, but Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' trip next week remains on the president’s schedule.
Abbas has said since the incident that he wants to see Obama take a bold stance toward Israel in light of the raid and subsequent outrage in the Muslim nation.
Thus far, the Obama administration has taken a measured stance in its response, signing on to a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemns the loss of life without condemning Israel and calling for an investigation into the incident.
Burton said he is unaware of what a timeframe for that investigation might look like.
When asked about Abbas' call for bold action, Burton was noncommittal, saying Obama "thinks it’s critically important that we move in the process to find stability and security in that region."
"I will say it’s important to the president and to our country that we don’t see the same kind of events unfold like they did the last time," Obama said. "So we are talking to our partners and are hopeful that we won't see a repeat."