Israel says it will keep attacking aid ships heading for the Gaza Strip as the humanitarian situation in the besieged coastal sliver continues to deteriorate.
"No ship can breach this blockade, be it civil or military ship," Israeli envoy Sari Rubenstein told a hearing of the UN Human Rights Committee on Wednesday, describing the siege as "legitimate."
"Whoever violates the blockade is heading for retaliation," Rubenstein threatened.
The two-day hearing was to see if Israel was fulfilling its obligations under the UN treaty on civil and political rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel came under intense pressure after its navy commandos stormed the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara, a part of the 6-ship Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in international waters on May 31, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring dozens of others onboard the civilian ship.
The brutal attack sent shockwaves across the world and raised global calls for an international investigation into the incident and an immediate end to the years-long blockade of Gaza.
Israel defended the attack as an act of "self-defense" against the resistance its forces faced during the takeover of the ship.
The activists on the aid ship, however, strongly reject the claim, charging Israeli commandos with boarding the ship with blazing guns and deliberately shooting people to death.