Israeli ministers meet to discuss Israel-Turkey crisis


JERUSALEM (BNO NEWS) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday convened a meeting of his eight senior ministers to discuss the crisis with Turkey and its plans to launch a legal campaign against Israel, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

The heads of the intelligence community and the Foreign Ministry will gave the ministers a briefing regarding potential scenarios if the situation continues to escalate. Senior Foreign Ministry officials also recommended steps to reduce the tension, but details from the meeting were not immediately disclosed.

The eight cabinet members were also expected to discuss the possibility that Turkey would take legal action against the Israeli soldiers who were involved in the flotilla operation. Netanyahu, however, has said that he wants to avoid an escalation, adding that common sense and cooler calculations would prevail on both sides.

Tensions have risen between both countries since the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid and Israel's constant refusal to apologize regarding the incident in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed. Last Thursday, Turkish and Israeli senior diplomats left their respective embassies as the two countries officially downgraded their political ties.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had previously announced that Israel's ambassador and senior diplomats had been expelled from the country. The announcement was made as Israel has refused to apologize and issue compensations for the families of those killed during the Gaza flotilla raid, as well as end its blockade of Palestinians residing in Gaza.

A UN report released on September 2 concluded that the naval blockade complied with the international law. However, it also stated that Israel's decision to board the vessels with "such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable."

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