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Israel still seeking an apology-free rapprochement with Turkey over Flotilla attack

February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Media sources in Israel have revealed the government’s efforts to reach a rapprochement with Turkey and end the crisis between the two countries in a way that does not involve having to apologise for the attack on the Freedom Flotilla. Nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli soldiers during the assault in May 2010.

Radio Israel reported that Tel Aviv is seeking to express “regret for the repercussions of the IDF operation for stopping the sailing of the Mavi Marmara”. If the Turkish government accepts this offer, there will be no need for the release of the United Nations Palmer report that would present the results of the investigation into the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla.

Israel has submitted a request to the UN to delay the release of the Palmer report, which has now been put back to 2 September. Some observers believe that Israel is trying to reach an agreement with Turkey without resorting to the UN Palmer report and without apologizing.

The report added that in the light of such efforts, Israel’s Minor Ministerial Council cancelled a meeting to discuss Turkey’s insistence on making normalisation of bilateral relations conditional on an official Israeli apology. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned of adopting an alternative policy for dealing with Israel, if the Zionist state continues to refrain from making an official apology before the release of the Palmer Report. If “Plan B” is implemented, Turkey will downgrade its diplomatic relations with Israel and cut all military, economic, social, and cultural bilateral relations.