Obama, seeking to ensure that his effort to promote indirect "proximity" talks between Israel and the Palestinians is not derailed by the furor over the raid, also noted "legitimate" Israeli security concerns.
"What's important right now is that we break out of the current impasse, use this tragedy as an opportunity so that we figure out, how can we meet Israel's security concerns," Obama said in an interview with CNN's "Larry King Live."
But at the same time, new opportunities must be opened up for the Palestinians, said Obama, who has pledged to make securing a Palestinian state a priority of his presidency.
Asked whether it was "premature" to condemn Israel over the raid, as many of America's closest allies have done, Obama said, "I think that we need to know what all the facts are."
"But it's not premature to say to the Israelis and to say to the Palestinians, and to say to all the parties in the region that the status quo is unsustainable.
"We have been trying to do this piecemeal for decades now. It just doesn't work."
"The tragedy... cannot be allowed to spiral out of control and undermine the limited but real progress that has been made," he said, referring to the raid, in which nine activists died on Monday.
Mitchell spoke in the West Bank city of Bethlehem at a conference on investment in the Palestinian territories.
Source: AFP American Edition