Israel tells U.S. it won’t apologize to Turkey for Gaza flotilla raid


JERUSALEM (BNO NEWS) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will not apologize for the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid in which nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists died, despite a request from the United States, Haaretz newspaper reported on Wednesday.

In a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Netanyahu said that Israel does not intend to restore its relationship with Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey will not reconcile with Israel unless it apologizes for the incident.

Haaretz quoted an official in Jerusalem saying that Netanyahu told Clinton that Israel does not oppose the publication of the report of the Palmer Committee, which investigated the events surrounding the flotilla. The official added that the head of the United Nations investigatory committee, former New Zealand Prime Minister Jeffrey Palmer, will present the report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next Monday and that the UN chief will release the report to the public the following day.

On Tuesday, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the committee had ruled in favor of Israel in regards to the legality of the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip while addressing a ruling Likud party conference.

“The Turks are not ready to accept this,” Ya’alon said. “But the relationship had deteriorated even before [the flotilla raid]. This is their policy, this is what they wanted, shame on them. So I said the Palmer Report needs to be published and I hope it will be published. Afterwards, we will meet [with the Turks].”

In May 2010, nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed and dozens more were injured when Israeli commandos boarded a ship participating in the ‘Freedom Flotilla I’. The incident caused global outrage over alleged excessive force, but Israel has denied that and said its commandos were being attacked.

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