Monday, July 5, 2010
Pro-Palestinian 'peace' activists hold down an Israeli commando on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea early May 31, 2010.
Jerusalem, 5 July (AKI) - Israel is adamant it will offer no apology for the deadly commando raid it carried out on a humanitarian aid convoy bound for the Gaza Strip at the end of May. Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday that Israel had no intention of offering an apology after nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli naval commandos who stormed the six-ship flotilla in international waters.
Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper earlier quoted Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying Ankara may break off relations with Israel.
"It either apologises, or accepts the findings from an international commission investigating the raid, or Turkey will cut off ties," the daily quoted Davutoglu as saying.
But Lieberman rejected this possibility. "We don't have any intention to apologize. We think that the opposite is true," he told reporters after meeting Latvia's foreign minister during a visit to the Baltic state.
"We are concerned about what we have been seeing and hearing from Turkish officials, such as the possible Turkish vote against Iran sanctions at the UN Security Council," said Lieberman, cited by the Israeli daily, Haaretz.
"Such remarks are part of Turkey's about face and new policy, which is an internal affair in which we cannot meddle."
Davutoglu has vowed Ankara would sever diplomatic ties with Israel unless it apologised over the operation that left eight Turks and one American of Turkish descent dead.
Ankara curtailed diplomatic relations with Israel after the controversial raid.
Turkey, which until recently was Israel's most important Muslim ally, withdrew its ambassador and demanded that the Israelis issue an apology and agree to a United Nations inquiry.
Posted by Cole at 12:54 PM