Pro-Palestinian activists involved in the Gaza protest flotilla had weapons on board, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told a press conference on Monday.
Ayalon called the incident, in which at least 10 activists were killed and dozens injured, a "provocation."
"On the deck we found weapons which were used against the forces. The organizers' intent was violent and the results were unfortunate," he said. "Israel regrets the loss of life. We called the organizers once and again the stop the provocations. We asked to transfer the aid in legitimate means."