Netanyahu Clinton 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refused requests by US Secretary of State
Hilliary Clinton on Tuesday to apologize to Turkey for the deaths of
nine IHH activists aboard the Mavi Marmara in May 2010, Army Radio
reported on Wednesday.Turkey is demanding Israel apologize for the incident, pay
compensation to the families of the victims, and lift the blockade of
Netanyahu said that Israel does not plan
to apologize to Turkey at the moment because it is still waiting for the
publication of the Palmer report, Army Radio said.
Israel-Turkey relations and the silent revolution
Lieberman: Apology to Turkey will broadcast weakness
whose details have been widely reported, upholds the legality of
Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, but takes the IDF to task for
using disproportionate force in enforcing the blockade.
Turkey is keen to bury the report, because while far from being
a pro-Israel document, by upholding the legality of the blockade it places some
of the responsibility for the flotilla fiasco on Turkey’s
Israel has so far refused to apologize, although there is
discussion about Israel apologizing for “operational mishaps” that led to the
loss of lives. Nine Turkish citizens were killed on the Mavi Marmara when some
of the passengers on the ship attacked IDF commandos who landed on it to enforce
An Israeli refusal to apologize to the Turks will not only
result in Turkish wrath, but also US anger, diplomatic officials said,
explaining that the US is pressuring Netanyahu to accept
a formula that would allow Israeli-Turkish relations to return to
The US, these officials said, see Israeli-Turkish
cooperation as an important element in the Middle East, and one they are very
keen to renew.
According to the officials, the US wants Netanyahu to back
a formula that would include the following elements: an apology for “operational
mishaps” in the Mavi Marmara incident that resulted in the loss of Turkish
lives, a willingness to pay compensation through a fund to be set up by the
Turkish government, a Turkish commitment that this ends the story and there will
be no legal claims against Israel, the soldiers or officers involved and an agreement to bury the Palmer Commission report.