Cuts short visits to Ottawa and Washington to deal with crisis
Israel's prime minister says soldiers who boarded a ship bringing supplies to the blockaded Gaza strip were only defending themselves.
Benjamin Netanyahu says the Israeli soldiers were mobbed as they boarded one of six ships in an aid flotilla.
Netanyahu, who is cutting short his scheduled visits to Ottawa and Washington to deal with the crisis, said the soldiers had no choice but to defend their lives.
"They deliberately attacked the first soldiers who came on the ship," he said. "They were mobbed, they were clubbed, they were beaten, stabbed. ...
"Our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives, or they would have been killed."
He said the boarding came as the Israeli navy was checking for any rockets, missiles or explosives that might have been headed for Gaza and destined to be fired into Israel.
Netanyahu, who began a two-day official visit to Canada on Sunday, was defending the pre-dawn raid which killed at least 10 pro-Palestinian activists.