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Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has compared the Gaza flotilla attack with America's fight against Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
In an interview with Fox News, he described the operation, in which nine people died, as "perfectly legal, perfectly humane – and very responsible".
He defending the attack in open waters, saying: "Israel acted in accord with international law. Any state has the right to protect itself, certainly from a terrorist threat such as Hamas, including on the open seas.
"The US acted under similar international law when it fought the Germans and the Japanese in World War Two."