'We have no intention to apologize to Turkey for flotilla'

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF
December 16, 2010 12:59

Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon downplays reports Israel will compensate families of those killed. MK Danon sends Erdogan sarcastic letter.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon

Danny Ayalon 311. (photo credit:Courtesy)

Israel has no intention of apologizing to the Turkish government over the events of the flotilla raid on May 31 which left nine Turkish passengers dead, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Wednesday during a speech to the Knesset.

Ayalon's remarks contradicted an official statement from The Prime Minister's Office which said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau was working on improving relations with Ankara after Turkey offered help to extinguish the Carmel fires.

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Ayalon responded to a series of proposals expressing the state's intention to compensate the families affected by the events of the raid.

"These proposals rely on newspaper reports. I am not responsible for these reports," Ayalon said.

Also reacting to reports in the Israeli media that Netanyahu was considering apologizing for for the outcome of the May 31 flotilla raid, MK Danny Danon (Likud) sent a letter Thursday to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

In his letter, which he read during a special Knesset session on Wednesday, Danon "apologized" for the fact that Israel did not anticipate ahead of time the violent nature of the Turkish-sponsored Mavi Marmara before it began its voyage towards Israel.

"We are sorry that our soldiers acted logically and humanly while taking into account the civilians that were aboard the ship," Danon wrote.

"We are sorry that due to the IDF's over-cautious behavior, only nine terrorists were killed in self-defense by our soldiers after they were brutally attacked. Had our government and army known from the outset that this boat had violent terrorists aboard, our soldiers would have received orders to act with a much larger show of force then was deployed in the end, possibly even orders to simply destroy the boat completely without risking lives by attempting a boarding."


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