Israeli tank fire killed two Hamas in Gaza on Tuesday in a strike the Israeli military said was launched against a position from which its troops had come under fire.
"The ship was monitored and was intercepted in accordance with global law", the military said in a statement, before the vessel, named Freedom for Gaza and carrying 12 people, was taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod.
"In response, an IDF (Israel Defence Forces) tank targeted the post from which the shots were fired", the statement read, adding that the post belongs to Hamas, an Islamist Palestinian group that runs Gaza. Sources said that Hamas is unwilling to enter into any negotiations or provide any information about the Israeli soldiers detained, agreeing only to a prisoner exchange in return for the freeing of prisoners rearrested after the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011.
Hamas issued a statement threatening to retaliate for the deaths.
The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the incident was "expected to destroy Egypt and the UN's efforts to achieve a long-term ceasefire" between Israel and Hamas. One of the grainy black and white video clips shows two men in a watchtower, one appears to open fire as puffs of smoke burst in front of him. It then cuts to footage of a shell hitting the post and an explosion.
Israel says Hamas, which rules Gaza, is using the protests as cover to carry out cross-border attacks.
The cross-border incident came after a delegation of senior Hamas officials visited Gaza to discuss a ceasefire agreement with Israel proposed by the United Nations and Egypt.
Over the past four months, 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including at least 120 in the protests near the fence, according to the Gaza Health Ministry and a local rights group.