yaalon office 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Wednesday that Turkey's insistence on an Israeli apology for last May's IDF raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara does not allow reconciliation talk to progress, Israel Radio reported.
Ya'alon said that Ankara continues to demand an apology, payment of reparations to victims, and the removal of the Israeli imposed naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, which even the United Nations has authorized as legal.
FM: Turkey 'shut door' on reconciliation with
Gaza stance 'Turkey-Israel talks to be held at end of July in
This comes after a spokesman for Ya’alon said on Tuesday that the minister has no plans to go to New York this
week to hold talks with the Turks about settling the Mavi Marmara
The spokesman said that while
Ya’alon will be traveling abroad next week – to South America and then to the US
to meet with Jewish organizations – those visits were not related to Turkey or
to finding a formula that would put an end to the crisis in Turkish-Israeli
ties that resulted from last year’s Gaza flotilla, during which nine Turks were
killed after attacking IDF soldiers trying to implement the naval blockade of Gaza.
Ya’alon’s denial that he was headed to New York for talks
with the Turks, follows a report that appeared Wednesday on the website of the
Turkish daily Hürriyet
saying that Israeli and Turkish officials were expected to
hold a new round of talks this week, just prior to the release of the UN Palmer
Commission’s report that investigated the incident. .
Ya’alon has been
involved in negotiations with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun
Sinirliog˘lu about finding a formula that would put an end to the issue and
enable a return to normal ties.
The Turks are demanding an apology for
the incident, as well as compensation payment for the victims. Turkish Prime
Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also said that a lifting of the naval blockade of Gaza was also a necessary condition for a renewal of
Israel has said that while it was willing to express regret, it
would not apologize. It has said, however, that it would pay compensation as
long as this does not open up its soldiers to other legal
Jerusalem has no plans of lifting the naval
While Defense Minister Ehud Barak has emphasized in recent days
the importance of normalizing ties with Turkey, hinting that he would be
amenable to some form of apology, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has come
out unequivocally against such a move.
Israeli officials said the two
sides have recently discussed a possible formula whereby an apology would not be
for the whole military action, but rather for isolated “operational
Özdem Sanberk, the Turkish representative on the committee,
that while no date has been set, a meeting will take place before
July 27, when former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer is scheduled to
submit his report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The report – whose
publication has already been delayed twice to give Israeli and Turkish officials
time to resolve the differences – is widely believed to uphold Israel’s legality
in clamping a naval blockade of Gaza, while criticizing the IDF for using
Foreign Ministry officials said they did not have a date
at this point for another meeting in New York.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen
Yoav Mordechai, meanwhile, told Israel Radio that Chief of General Staff
Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz was well aware of the details of the Palmer Commission
report, and will express his opinion on an apology when the matter comes to a
discussion in the government, which is expected to take place shortly.