Political sources close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have said that a shift has occurred in Israel’s position on the diplomatic crisis with Turkey as efforts continue to resolve the issue before the publication of the UN report on assault on the Freedom Flotilla in May 2010.
Israel’s Army Radio said that Netanyahu is trying to find a “creative, inventive way” to improve relations with Turkey, while ensuring that Ankara won’t prosecute Israeli officers and officials who were involved in the assault. Nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli commandos who attacked a flotilla of ships in international waters as they tried to break Israel’s immoral siege of Gaza.
According to Haaretz, if the Turks agree to not pursue legal action against Israeli officers, Tel Aviv will provide “a weak apology” limited to the civilian errors that permeated the process of seizing the Freedom Flotilla and the use of force and violence against the international peace activists on its ships. The apology would not, however, include the whole process because of Netanyahu’s refusal to apologise for an official Israeli military operation.
The newspaper added out that the Israeli government’s legal adviser, Yehuda Feinstein, has told Netanyahu to make every effort to reach an understanding with Ankara to end the crisis, “even if it means a public apology to Turkey”. His advice was given as the current version of the UN fact-finding commission report about the events of the 30th of May last year may lead to Israeli officers and soldiers facing lawsuits around the world, which Tel Aviv is trying to avoid.
The Israeli comments were made after it was revealed that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to go to the Gaza Strip before the end of July at the end of a visit to Egypt. Such a visit is being frowned upon by Israel.