Vice President Joe Biden has spoken in Israel's defense in regard to the country's right to board ships bound for Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling.
In an interview Wednesday with public television, he said the Jewish state has a right to make sure no arms are being shipped to Gaza. He cited Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel.
Biden questioned why the aid ship refused to allow its cargo to be inspected in Israel and then shipped on to Gaza.
"What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza?" he asked.
"Well, it's legitimate for Israel to say, 'I don't know what's on that ship. These guys are dropping eight -- 3,000 rockets on my people,'" the vice president added.
Biden also said Israel should do more to help the people of Gaza.
The U.S. has not condemned Israel's actions in the flotilla raid.
On Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs pointed out that Israel's three-year-old blockade is to keep weapons, not food, out of the territory.
Gibbs said the U.S. is "working to improve the humanitarian conditions" in Gaza. At the same time, he stressed the administration was "greatly supportive" of Israel's security and "that's not going to change."