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Israeli Prime Minister Rules Out Apology to Turkey

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an Israeli television interview that there will be no apology to Turkey for the May 31 incident aboard a Turkish-flagged boat running the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Nine passengers on board the M.V. Mavi Marmara – whom the Israelis argue were on board to foment violence – died when an attempted landing by commandoes turned into a melee. Already soured relations between Israel and Turkey plummeted to new lows after the “Gaza Flotilla affair” and according to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, will not be restored until Israel apologizes and pays compensation to the families of those killed. In a televised interview on Monday, Netanyahu said it won’t happen. He also demanded that Turkey put a stop to legal proceedings against Israel, including those against the Israeli army stemming from the incident. The prime minister also opened the door to a peace track alternative to the American-brokered process. He agreed that an interim agreement could be the goal if the issues of Jerusalem and refugees reach “dead ends.”