Turkish Vessels Will Escort The Humanitarian Aid To Gaza
The scandal between Turkey and Israel continues with an opened threat made by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the Turkish ships would escort the humanitarian aid into the Israeli waters to make sure that situations like the one that happened in May 2010 never come to pass.
He said that from now on Turkish ships are the ones responsible for the safety of the humanitarian ships, and that the Israeli navy will not be allowed anymore to attack these kind of vessels like they did with the Freedom Flotilla vessel Mavi Marmara, when they killed nine Turks causing an international scandal.
Turkey has expelled the ambassador of Israel and three of the embassy personnel in response to the Palmer report on the Mavi Marmara case, in which it was said that the blockade on Gaza was legal and that though they acted with excessive use of force the Israelis were motivated to use force because the Turks on board the Mavi Marmara had mounted a violent response against the Israeli navy soldiers.
The Turkish opposition accused on Thursday the prime minister that his government handled poorly the tension with Israel and that this resulted in the official legitimizing of the Gaza blockade through the Palmer report.
Turkish Prime Minister announced that other sanctions would come, following the downgrading of the diplomatic relations, and that the Turkish navy would ensure the safety of the humanitarian aid vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Israeli military attaché, colonel Moshe Levy, was called for consultations and is waiting to see what is the decision that the Turkish cabinet will make in his regard, as the authorities in Ankara announced that the military cooperation will also be undermined by the refusal of the Israeli cabinet to apologize for Mavi Marmara.
The Israeli government has not commented on the measures the Turkish counterpart took, but the Israeli media announced that foreign minister Avigdor Liberman prepared a set of tough counter-measures that will be applied to Turkey. A lot of ideas have been discussed, government officials said, but nothing has been decided yet.
Speaking at a navy academy event, prime minister Netanyahu said that the scandal with Turkey was not by Israeli choice and that he hoped things would get better in time.
The same hope expressed Ehud Barak, who offered a personal apology for the loss of Turkish lives in the Mavi Marmara incident.
Israel refused to offer an apology to Turkey for fear that this would involve the prosecution of the soldiers who participated in the incident.11