Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after Eilat attack 311.
(photo credit: GPO / Avi Ohayon)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday that Israel will not apologize to Turkey over the events of the Mavi Marmara raid, in light of the recommendations put forward by the Palmer report
on the incident. "We don't need to apologize for our soldiers who
protected themselves against violent attacks by IHH activists and we
don't need to apologize for working to stop weapons being smuggled to
the terror group Hamas," he said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet
"Israel expresses regret that lives were lost, and I
hope that we will find a way to improve relations with Turkey,"
Netanyahu said that the report which was presented to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday pointed out what Israel already knew. "We reserve the full and basic right to defend ourselves. We do not need to apologize for working to protect our citizens and our children," he added.
Netanyahu praised the work of the soldiers who took part in the raid and said "you protect us, so we'll protect you in any international forum."RELATED:
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The prime minister said that Israel was never interested in a break down in relations and even now is not interested.
Netanyahu's comments came after a weekend when ties between the two countries worsened.
Turkey’s threat to take Israel to the International Court
of Justice in The
Hague following Friday’s release of the Palmer Commission report is a “pistol
firing blanks,” officials said on Saturday, pointing out that the court
only adjudicates issues brought to it by two disputing states, or referred to it
for an advisory decision from the UN.
Israel won’t agree to go to the
court, the official said, and the UN will be hard-pressed to ask for an advisory
opinion after a UN body, the Palmer Commission, found that the blockade of the
Gaza Strip was legal, as was Israel’s interception of vessels trying to break
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Turkish television on Saturday
that Ankara would apply to the International Court of Justice next week for an
“investigation into what the Gaza blockade really is.”
This was one of
five actions Davutoglu announced at a press conference on Friday, even before
the Palmer Report was presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, based on a
leak of the complete report that vindicated Israel’s blockade but faulted the
IDF for unreasonable and excessive force, even though it acknowledged Israel
Navy sailors came up against strong, pre-meditated resistance by those on board
the Mavi Marmara
on May 31, 2010.
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