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JPost - Israel, unfazed by Turkey downgrading ties, won't apologize

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  • Paul
    JPost - Fri, September 02, 2011 The Jerusalem Post Israel, unfazed by Turkey downgrading ties, won t apologize By HERB KEINON 09/02/2011 17:22 Senior gov t
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2 8:18 AM
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      JPost - Fri, September 02, 2011
      The Jerusalem Post
      Israel, unfazed by Turkey downgrading ties, won't apologize
      By HERB KEINON
      09/02/2011 17:22

      Senior gov't official says that Israel hopes a "way can be found to
      overcome the disagreements" with Ankara, but adds no apology will be
      issued "for actions of self defense taken by soldiers."

      http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=236453


      Despite Turkey's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties with Israel and
      freeze all military agreements, a senior government official said Friday
      afternoon Israel would not apologize to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara
      incident.

      The official said that as recommended by the Palmer Commission report,
      presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, Israel "again
      expresses its regret for the loss of life, but will not apologize for
      actions of self defense taken by its soldiers."

      "Israel, like all nations, has the legitimate right to defend its
      civilians and soldiers," the official said.

      The official said that Israel understood the importance of "the historic
      relations" between the "Jewish and Turkish people. In light of that,
      Israel made many efforts in recent months to solve the conflict between
      the countries, but these did not succeed."

      The official said that Israel hoped a "way would be found to overcome
      the disagreements, and will work toward that aim."


      The oft-delayed Palmer Commission report upheld the legality of Israel's
      naval blockade and right to intercept vessels trying to break it, and
      also said there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. At the same time the
      report said the IDF, which it acknowledged came under pre-meditated
      violence by IHH activists on the ship, used "unreasonable" and
      "excessive" force.

      In rare praise for a UN document, the senior Israeli official called
      it "professional, serious and in depth," and said Israel adopted the
      commission's findings – though with reservations about the panel's
      conclusion that unreasonable and excessive force was used by the IDF.

      Regarding Turkey's decision to expel Israel's envoy to Ankara, the
      official said the ambassador – Gabi Levy – had already finished his
      tenure in Ankara, had taken leave of his Turkish counterparts in Ankara,
      and was returning to Israel in the coming days. No replacement for
      Levy, whose retirement from the Foreign Ministry has been known for
      months, was ever named.

      Referring to one of the five measures that Turkish Foreign Minister
      Ahmet Davutoglu said at a press conference Friday that Ankara would take
      against Israel – take measures for freedom of maritime movement in the
      eastern Mediterranean Sea – the official said that Israel hoped Turkey
      would "honor international law" in all matters regarding maritime
      traffic in the Mediterranean.

      The other measures he said Israel would take included downgrading
      diplomatic ties with Israel; freezing all military agreements; no longer
      recognizing the Gaza blockade and taking the issue to the International
      Court of Justice; and supporting "flotilla victims" who will take the
      matter to court.
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