June 2nd, 2010
02:05 PM ET

Netanyahu defends response, says flotilla not a 'love boat'

Speaking defiantly in the face of worldwide criticism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the Israeli commando raid on the aid-bound vessels for Gaza, saying the troops acted properly in the bloody raid.

Netanyahu said the goal of the international flotilla was to penetrate Israel's blockade of ships headed to Gaza, necessary to halt weaponry being shipped to militants into Gaza from Iran, and the troops comported themselves in keeping with Israeli policy.

"We continue to protect our civilians, we will continue to allow our soldiers to protect their lives, and the state of Israel will continue to practice its right for self-defense," he said, asserting the aim of the flotilla wasn't to carry aid "because we do send assistance to the Gaza Strip."

Speaking in a brief and frank nationally televised, Netanyahu said a port at Gaza open to militants will pose a grave danger to Israel and the state has the responsibility to stop every vessel, including the flotilla that was targeted Monday.

"That was not a love boat. That was a boat of hatred. It was not a peaceful flotilla. The soldiers who boarded the ships were attacked by clubs, batons and knives. They had the weapons kidnapped from them and shot at them," he said, calling the behavior of the people on the one ship where violence occurred an attempted lynching.

The prime minister said that if the blockade had been penetrated, dozens or hundreds of ships would have eventually converged on Gaza carrying war materiel. And he pointed out that the amount would be greater than that being smuggled through the Gaza-Egyptian tunnels.

"They can bring hundreds of rockets and hundreds of missiles. We have already stopped two ships. One of them was one we stopped in the middle of the sea where there were hundreds of tons of ammunition and weapons that Iran sent to Gaza," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said Iran continues to smuggle weapons into Gaza and Hamas - which controls the territory - continues to arm itself.

"The rockets and missiles that Iran has smuggled into Gaza are now likely to hit areas surrounding Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and some of those are already in Gaza. Therefore, it is our duty and our responsibility according to the international law and according to the logic, common sense, to prevent by air, sea and land smuggling of weapons into Gaza."

Netanyahu said Israel is sorry for the loss of lives during the flotilla raid but emphasized its soldiers were facing "a life-threatening situation."

"I forward my questions to the international community. ... What would you have done if you were in our place and what would you have done in order to protect your civilians who are attacked by hundreds of rockets and missiles? We know the facts. We all know the reality," he said.

The prime minister said that if Israel didn't take the steps it did, the result would be an Iranian regime in Gaza just kilometers away from Jerusalem.

"This is a destructive scenario, and this a very immediate threat to Israel. I'm telling you and I'm telling my friends in the countries that criticize us that an Iranian port in the Mediterranean" will be a threat.

"We will stop and check and examine every ship that is coming to Gaza," he said.

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Filed under: Gaza • Israel • Middle East • Uncategorized
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Hanan

    israel = DEAD

    June 2, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • pe

      try to pass again second grade please

      June 2, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • luke

      You're an idiot. You shouldn't be allowed to post.

      June 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Amin

    No comment "אני שונא את ישראל"

    June 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • pe

      אמין אתה הומו
      הלוואי ותיקבר עם חזיר יא מוסלמי דפוק
      الله ماوس

      June 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mohamed

    israel wants only one thing palestine and they wanted it and begged from just after they left egypt with mosses and they want to exterminate palestanians but the best thing they used is the propaganda after worldwar 2 hitler didn'nt want to exterminate jews only he wanted to purify the world from any thing non-german you said hitler murdered 6 million jews actually there weren't 6 million jews in the world

    June 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • jake

      Yes. And Allah is great and MoBombHead is his prophet.

      June 6, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. hero

    hey.....
    the flotilla not a 'love boat'.......?????????
    the flotilla boat is only a help boat for 1.5 million peoples who suffered for more than 3 years....
    the flotilla boat were carrying only 10000 tons of assistance and 500 Civilian from 40 countries , they have no weapons ??
    all of us saw what happened by videos on TV and what happened is really shocked some military jump from helicopters with guns and then The clashes have begun ..... and more than 20 peoples from different religions killed...
    ??????????
    stop Lying Netanyahut...............
    that is the video link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xmls0XsodA0

    June 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. A moment of Just thinking

    Israel is a victim what a funny joke!!! how you think that Israel was defending itself and all the world saw what soldiers of israel had done and how they had broken international law and killed 20 civil innocent victims .which logic can justify this barbarian action. they claimed that there were weapons in the ship and it wasn't a love boat ,so after they arrested the ship and killed people in order to do that where are the weapons they claimed and how they can explain that.
    on the ship, there were people which weren't arab and were from many nationalities Turk ,Greeks& swedes ,and people who were killed were Turk...............and how all the world refused their action (Obama , International Court of Justice and china) and why netanyahu canceled his visit to USA .
    And the video that was shown by mikev is obviously faked ,because the attack was at night but the video is in light .
    "That was not a love boat. That was a boat of hatred." said netanyahu.
    what a boat of hatred that contain Muslims Christians pray at the same time!
    I want from you to see the attached video and work your mind to reach the true
    1)-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4tTiRRqBdk
    2)-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmLl_Pq9SjM
    3)-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_zJb06JXto

    June 2, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • pe

      can you answer me one question?
      why if this "love boat" was so innocent as you say! why didnt you let us check what is inside?!
      what where you so afraid that we will find? why the first thing that the people in the boat did was hitting the soldiers that came to the boat?
      Innocent? i dont think so.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Matthew

    I'm disgusted with the Israeli response. This was an act of piracy in international waters. Those on the boats had every right to defend themselves from the aggression of the IDF. It's time to call Israel to order. I'm tired of having my taxes used to support these warmongering racists.

    June 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Israel forever

    To all you ppl that still have your head stuck deep between your "legs" listen up.
    There will never be peace between Israel and the Arabs as its written in the holy bible Arabs and Jews will hate forever until the messiah comes and finally redeems us from the Arab nation.

    The fact is that the Arabs are the worlds largest enemy.
    Lets not forget who took down the twin towers NOT THE JEWS but off course the arabs it is very clear that the arabs want to take control of the world they are the source of evil lets not fool our self's we all know it we all know that they are thirst for blood.

    Isarel will live and last forever because it is Gods chosen nation and all religions know that at least in their heart.

    Israel did what any other nation in the world would of done, stop fooling your self.

    Go Israel Go we are all here for you and we all support you.
    You are the real deal and its time ppl start realizing that.
    Isarel did what it does best PROTECT itself.

    June 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Shame

    As usual, Israeli government kills innocent people with cold blood.. It's not their 1st time and won't be the last time but the good thing about what happened if there would be any good thing about it is the whole world could see the truth of the Israeli criminals.

    June 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Salma Ahmed

    everyone

    just click:

    1)-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4tTiRRqBdk
    2)-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmLl_Pq9SjM
    3)-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_zJb06JXto

    June 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dan

    seems to me there used to be a country called palistine what ever happend to it ?

    June 3, 2010 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. dan

    just want to knowwhat happend to palisstine

    June 3, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. meard

    The Problem is Not ISRael i
    Its those Muslims = Arabs
    I have no sympathy for Muslims
    I am sure beside the land issue ISrael does it best to live with those people
    These Muslims hate everything that s not Muslims
    Our Bible Predict that ISRAEL will WIN
    I am no longer Religious but i believe it
    I would definitely support Israel
    I have no Symphathy for Muslims

    June 3, 2010 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. meard

    I would live beside any other race or Religion Except MUSLIMS
    the world has become Hell with those people and they re every where
    It makes me wih i was a Leader and under my leadership they would not be allowed to enter my country.

    June 3, 2010 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. meard

    LONG LIVE ISRAEL
    i know i ll be hated for this but its the truth

    June 3, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. meard

    ARABS leave our countries i am trying to get jobs just to find out in my own country its occupied by you
    yet still you hate our nations deeply in your hearts and in our faces you pretend that you do
    I am not ANTI IMMIGRANT but i dont feel safe in my own country any more
    Illegal Mexicans are more welcome than you at least they dontt blow up people in markets COWARDLY

    June 3, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
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