Jerusalem: Amid Israel`s worsening ties with
Turkey, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday asserted that
his country will not apologise to Ankara over the deadly
Israeli commando raid on an aid flotilla to Gaza in 2010 that
killed nine Turkish nationals.
"We need not apologise for the fact that naval commandos
defended their lives against an assault by violent IHT
activists," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"We need not apologise for the fact that we acted to stop
the smuggling of weapons to Hamas, a terrorist organisation
that has already fired over 10,000 missiles, rockets and
mortar rounds at our civilians", the hardline leader said at a
weekly cabinet meeting.
Turkey expelled Israel`s ambassador yesterday and said
that its effort to bring Israel before the International Court
of Justice (ICJ) was moving ahead.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told state-run
news outlet TRT that the court`s decision was binding.
"So we say, if you think this way, let the ICJ decide. We
will initiate the legal procedure next week," Davutoglu said.
The Israeli Prime Minister made it clear that there was
no case for apology for defending "our people, our children
and our communities".
However, Netanyahu said Israel "regrets the loss of human
life" and hopes "that the way will be found to overcome the
differences with Turkey".
He said Israel "never wanted its relations with Turkey to
deteriorate, nor does it want them to deteriorate right now".
The one-time close allies have been at odds since the
deadly incident on May 31 last year when Israeli commandos
boarded Mavi Marmara trying to break Israel`s blockade of
Islamist Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The Israeli operation left
nine dead and many wounded.