Activists 'supported terrorists' - Israeli PM

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Activists onboard a ship which was raided by Israeli troops were not peace activists, but 'violent supporters of terrorism' said Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu as he defended the highly criticised operation.

Speaking to reporters Mr Netanyahu insisted that soliders were acting in self-defence.

Nine pro-Palestinian activists died in the raid, which involved a flotilla of ships trying to break the Gaza blockade on Monday.

Eyewitnesses among the activists have accused Israeli forces of brutality and the UN Human Rights Council has voted to set up an independent international inquiry into the raid.

READ MORE: Israel 'had no choice' over raid