A statement agreed upon between Israel and Turkey regarding the Mavi Marmara
incident would likely remove the issue from the international legal agenda and
prevent prosecution abroad of IDF soldiers involved in the action, according to
assessments in Jerusalem.
These assessments were made Wednesday as an
Israeli proposal was, according to Turkish media reports, expected to be brought
to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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The website of the
daily reported that Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun
Sinirliog˘lu, who at the beginning of the week held talks on the matter in
Geneva with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s envoy Yosef Ciechanover, was
expected to bring a proposal drawn up in those talks to the Turkish prime
According to Hurriyet
, there has been a debate about whether
Israel would issue a state apology or a humanitarian one for the May 31 raid on
the ship trying to break the Gaza blockade. Nine people were killed after IDF
commandos who boarded the ship came under attack.
The ship was organized
by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation IHH, an organization listed by a
number of countries as a terrorist group, Hurriyet
, which said Israel wanted to
use words such as “regret” or “sorry” in a statement, rather than “apology,”
quoted Erdogan as saying late Tuesday that “there is no such distinction as ‘the
people’ or ‘the state.’ They [the Israelis] must apologize to the Republic of
In Jerusalem, meanwhile, it is widely assumed that Israel would
only agree to a formula in which it was clear that Israel acted in self-defense,
that it retains its right to act in self-defense in the future, and that it had
no intention of harming the passengers of the ship.
Netanyahu is sure to
meet resistance from some in his own cabinet, including Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman, and also from the families of naval commandos involved – and wounded
– in the incident, if he agrees to anything resembling an apology.
Cohen, the father of the commando seriously wounded when he was thrown from the
upper to the lower deck of the ship, said the idea that the country would
apologize or pay compensation was inconceivable and that he would fight any
Sources close to Lieberman, meanwhile, said Tuesday that an
apology to Turkey would be tantamount to “surrender to
“Israel needs to ask for a Turkish apology, and for it to pay
compensation for the aid it gave those supporting terrorists and the IHH,” the