Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva said his country had the right to attack any vessel attempting to breach the maritime blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, dpa reported.
"Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate the maritime blockade (off the coast of Gaza) may be captured or even attacked under international law," Aharon Leshno Yaar told the
UN Human Rights Council.
Israeli civilians had in the past been attacked by weapons that were "smuggled into Gaza via the sea," Yaar said, and urged the other members "not to rush to conclusions" until more information was available about the attack.
"Israel regrets any loss of life but all responsibilities lie with the planners of this violent provocation," the envoy said, blaming the organizers of the aid flotilla.