Netanyahu Rejects Criticism of Deadly Raid

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Jewish state is facing widespread hypocrisy for defending the interception of ships trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu tried to explain Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday saying Hamas had missiles that can reach major Israeli cities like Tel Aviv and possibly Jerusalem.

Hamas continues to smuggle thousands of Iranian rockets, missiles and other weaponry - smuggling them into Gaza in order to fire on Israel's cities.

Read Netanyahu's full statement here.

Israel allows literally tons of aid to cross into the Gaza Strip via land every day, but has kept the seaport blocked.

Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed when Israeli troops boarded one of six ships trying to run the blockade under the guise of carrying humanitarian aid.

Israel said its soldiers were ambushed and released new footage showing the so-called peace activists attacking Israeli soldiers as they tried to board the ship Mavi Marmara.

Netanyahu defended Israel's actions.

"Under international law, and under common sense and common decency, Israel has every right to interdict this weaponry and to inspect the ships that might be transporting them," Netanyahu said.

However, the United Nations has condemned Israel for the raid.

Elliot Abrams, former deputy national security adviser for the Bush administration told CBN News the Obama administration failed to defend Israel in the U.N. Security Council by allowing the council to use the word "condemn."

"I think the United States should have been a better, tougher supporter of Israel and told the people in the United Nations who were essentially a lynch mob that we were not going to permit it," Abrams said. "We were not going to permit a condemnation or use of the word condemn for that flotilla of terrorist sympathizers."

Two more ships are on route to Gaza and negotiations are underway to prevent another violent confrontation.

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CBN News
Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

Correspondent, CBN News Jerusalem Bureau

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