Vice President Joe Biden defended on Wednesday Israel's actions this week to prevent a flotilla from breaking through a military blockade in Gaza.

The vice president said a rigorous investigation was needed into the incident, which resulted in the death of nine activists.

"You can argue whether Israel should have dropped people onto that ship or not and the — but the truth of the matter is, Israel has a right to know ... whether or not arms are being smuggled in," Biden said during an interview on "Charlie Rose," to air Wednesday evening.

Israel stopped a flotilla from Turkey that had been headed toward Gaza Monday, boarding the small rafts, which were largely carrying aid supplies. In addition to the nine killed, a number of members of the flotilla were captured, though they were released later this week by the Israeli government.

Some international bodies like the United Nations have condemned the Israeli government's actions, which forced a cancellation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned meeting on Tuesday with President Barack Obama.

Obama, in the aftermath of the attack, has called for a thorough, independent investigation into the incident. Biden said Wednesday the investigation should be conducted by Israel, with the possibility of additional international participation.

"Well, an investigation run by the Israelis, but we're open to international participation, just like the investigation run on the sunken sub off the coast of Korea," Biden said of the investigation.

Republicans have called for a strong stance by the Obama administration against any condemnatory resolutions by the United Nations on the incident.