The storming by Israel of the Gaza aid flotilla was “not a success” but Israel was in a “war situation” and had to defend itself, the country’s ambassador to Britain said on Tuesday.
Ambassador Ron Prosor told the BBC: “It’s obvious — and I won’t beat around the bush on this — that this wasn’t successful and I think it clearly took up an issue that should have been solved differently.” However, the “other side” had behaved “appallingly” and done all it could to “provoke and confront” the Israeli forces.
Israel was in a “war situation with terrorists” in Gaza and had been trying to protect itself. “The loss of life was tragic and I’m not just saying that,” Mr. Prosor said.
It was also a fact that “nothing happened” on five of the six ships. But people on the sixth ship had confronted soldiers with “knives with huge blades”, iron bars and metal pipes, he said.
“When you look at the footage ... it’s obvious that the reaction is self—defence to try and save your life,” said Mr. Prosor. Israel had tried to defend its citizens on the one hand while trying “not to go overboard in our reaction.”
Cameron speaks to Netanyahu
Earlier British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Israel to show a “constructive” response to the “legitimate criticism” of its interception of a Gaza aid flotilla.
A spokesman said Mr. Cameron had described the Israeli action as unacceptable in a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Monday.
He called on Israel to ensure that such an incident never happens again.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office confirmed that one Briton was injured in the attack and received medical treatment.