Turkey’s foreign minister says his country will cut diplomatic ties with Israel if it does not apologize for the commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed eight Turks and a Turkish-American.
In an interview published Monday in the Hurriyet newspaper, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said relations with Israel will be broken unless Israel apologizes or agrees to accept the conclusions of an international inquiry into the May 31 attack.
But on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will not apologize for the raid.
In comments to Israeli state television (Channel 1), Mr. Netanyahu said Israel regrets the loss of life in the raid, but it cannot apologize that its soldiers had to defend themselves to avoid being “lynched.”
Mr. Netanyahu also rejected the notion that Israel would pay any compensation to Turkey for the nine Turkish citizens killed.
Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara ship, which was leading a flotilla trying to break an Israeli blockade and deliver aid to the Gaza Strip. Israel has said its commandos opened fire on the ship after being attacked.