Jerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out making an apology to Turkey over an Israeli military raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed
nine Turkish activists.
"We will not apologise, but express our regrets to
Turkey," the Israeli leader said in an interview with private
television network Channel 10.
"We don`t want our soldiers to be possibly hauled
before international tribunals... our soldiers acted in
accordance with standards," he said, stressing an apology
could be interpreted as an admission of liability.
Netanyahu`s comments came a day after Israel`s
right-wing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed the Jewish
state would not apologise to Turkey for the May 31 commando
Lieberman described as "a cheek" Ankara`s demand for
an apology before normalising relations between the former
"The ones who have to apologise are the government of
Turkey for supporting terror," he said. "There will be no
apology" from Israel.
Speaking to Channel 10, Netanyahu explained his
foreign diplomatic chief`s comments by saying: "In my
coalition government, there area different points of view but
the prime minister expresses the voice of the government."
Israel`s ties with Turkey plunged into crisis
following the raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ferry
carrying aid to the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli
blockade on the Palestinian territory.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday
that Ankara wants to turn the page on a year of difficult
relations with Israel but the Jewish state must apologise for
the deadly aid ship assault.