Israel's leader says his country doesn't have to apologise for a deadly raid on a Turkish-led flotilla that tried to break Israel's blockade of Gaza last year.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret for the loss of nine Turkish lives in the confrontation and said he hoped ties with Turkey could be mended.
They were Netanyahu's first public remarks since Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador on Friday over the flotilla affair.
Turkey wanted Israel to apologise for the deaths and lift the Gaza blockade.
Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday that Israel doesn't have to apologise for "acting to defend our civilians, our children and our communities."
He added that Israel "expresses regret at the loss of life."