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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel had "no other choice" but to stop the flotilla of ships which tried to break the Gaza blockade on Monday.

Nine activists were killed when Israeli troops raided one of the ships in an operation widely criticised abroad.

"This was not a love boat, this was a boat of hate," he told reporters.

Israel plans to deport all foreign activists detained in the raid by the end of the day.

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

Four of the activists killed were Turkish and Turkey's parliament has called for relations with Israel to be reviewed.

In London, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said Israel's raid was "completely unacceptable" and called for the blockade of Gaza to be lifted.
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I think it is incorrect to write Mr Netanyahu says Israel had ' not other choice' but to stop the flotilla of ships ...

It should be the following:
Mr Netanyahu says Israel has ' not other choice' but to stop the flotilla of ships ...
OR

Mr Netanyahu said Israel had ' not other choice' but to stop the flotilla of ships ...
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Comments  
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel had "no other choice" but to stop the flotilla of ships which tried to break the Gaza blockade on Monday.

I think it is incorrect to write Mr Netanyahu says Israel had ' not other choice' but to stop the flotilla of ships ...It should be the following:Mr Netanyahu says Israel has ' not other choice' but to stop the flotilla of ships ... OR Mr Netanyahu said Israel had ' not other choice' but to stop the flotilla of ships

"Says" is the correct tense. He is saying it now. He may or may not have said it in the past.

"Had" is the correct tense. He had the choice in the past. He does not have it now.

We are referring here to a particular flotilla of ships, not ships in general.

Be careful not to change the expression "no other choice" to "NOT other choice."

We would use "not" to negate the verb:
He did not have another choice.

Best regards, - A.
Thanks Avangi
Look at the following exaple.

1]He says he had a lot of girlfriends some ten years ago.

2]He said he had a lot of girfriends some ten years ago.

Now the man is married; he has a wife.
Today he talks about some past business.

I think the secone sentence is the correct one
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I believe I see where you're coming from. We're always talking about backshifting in indirect speech.

But I'm afraid you have the backshifting backward in this case.

When we choose to use "said," we may shift the "has" to "had" in order to match it.

But when we choose to use "had," we do not backshift the "says" to "said" in order to match it.

Our choice of "says/said" is determined by when the "saying" takes/took place.
Do we wish to indicate that he's saying it now or that he said it then? Both are possible.

He is now saying that he had girlfriends in the past.

I think you're confusing this with another situation.
Let's say that he has lots of girlfriends in the present, in spite of being married, etc.
Yesterday, he said, "I have lots of girlfriends!"

When you report this speech, you can say, Yesterday he said he has lots of girlfriends.
OR, at your option, you may backshift, and say, Yesterday he said he had lots of girlfriends.

There's no rule saying that in indirect speech, the verbs "to say" and "to have" must always match tenses.

You MAY always backshift "have" to "had" in order to match "said."
You are NOT obliged to backshift "says" to "said" in order to match "had."
Avangi

You MAY always backshift "have" to "had" in order to match "said."
You are NOT obliged to backshift "says" to "said" in order to match "had."
Is the above a general rule in English?
Hi, Rotter.
This is not a quote from a book, but it expresses what I believe I've learned on the subject of backshifting in reported speech. Of course the verb "to have" is just an example. Any verb may be used.
He said he believed the earth is round.
He said he believed the earth was round.

He said he believes the earth is round.
He says he believes the earth is round.
He says he believed the earth was round. (He no longer believes it.)

There are lots of possibilities, but when you say Netanyahu says he has no other choice, you're altering the facts of the case. He's referring to a specific choice he had at a specific time in the past.
If you say Netanyahu said he had no other choice, then you're voluntarily giving up the meaning that he continues to say it or to hold that opinion.
You could also use the present continuous: Netanyahu is saying that he had no other choice.
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He said he believed the earth is round.
He said he believed the earth was round.

He said he believes the earth is round.
He says he believes the earth is round.
He says he believed the earth was round. (He no longer believes it.)

Is it incorrect to write 'Earth' in all of the above?
In place of "the earth"? Yes.

But we wouldn't say, "the Mars."
Avangi

Instead of the earth we could just write 'Earth' or 'the Earth'.

I hope both are fine. Please tell me if I am wrong.
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