Accusing international critics of "hypocrisy", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza Stip, in which nine activists aboard were killed. In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening, he said he would continue to blockade the Palestinian enclave, saying that lifting the embargo would turn it into a base for Iranian missiles that would threaten both Israel and Europe.
"We acted against the thousands of rockets that Hamas fired against Israeli civilians. Hamas fired at civilians. Hamas hid behind civilians. The IDF (Israeli army) acted against the Hamas, while making every effort to avoid hurting innocents," noted Netanyahu.
"Despite that, who did the UN accuse of war crimes? not the Hamas. It accused israel. And to my regret something similar is happening now," he added.
Hamas, he said, was continuing to arm itself with rockets smuggled from Iran, which were earmarked for Israeli towns and cities outside Gaza, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.