Michael Oren: Gaza blockade is 'matter of life and death'

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER
June 22, 2011 22:50

WASHINGTON – Israel’s Ambassador to the US Michael Oren on Wednesday defended the blockade of Gaza as a “matter of life and death” and said that it fully comports with international law, as a flotilla prepares to attempt to reach Gaza.

Oren said that Israel is pleased that the Turkish government is opposing the expedition and that Turkish group IHH has withdrawn its participation in the flotilla, which is set to mark the anniversary of the attempt last year to breach the blockade which left nine activists aboard the IHH’s ship dead after a confrontation with the IDF.

Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel following last year’s incident and demanded an apology for actions the IDF considered as self-defense, and Oren indicated that Israel is in discussions with Ankara to find language that would satisfy both governments’ requirements so that the rift could be mended.


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