Israel has defended its storming of the convoy of Gaza-bound aid ships, claiming the activists onboard attacked their soldiers and were also carrying weapons.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon also claimed that the convoy failed to accept an offer for Israeli authorities to act as an intermediary to deliver aid.
“Onboard the ship we found weapons prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organisers’ intent was violent,” Ayalon said.
“This so-called humanitarian aid was not for humanitarian purposes. Had it been for humanitarian purposes they would have accepted our offer to deliver all humanitarian supplies through the appropriate channels,” he added.
Israel says ten of its soldiers were injured in the dawn raid, one of them seriously. It said the activists attacked them with knives and gunfire.
That’s a charge denied by those onboard the six-ship flotilla, who counter Israeli commandos shot first.