Netanyahu: No apology, no compensation to Turkey over Gaza flotilla 3Jul10 July 4, 2010

Haaretz -  3 July 2010

Israel won’t apologize to Turkey over the Gaza aid flotilla clashes and the possibility of giving compensation to those injured in the incident is not up for discussion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday.

“Israel cannot apologize for our soldiers being forced to defend themselves against the mob that almost slaughtered them,” Netanyahu said during an interview with Israel’s Channel 1.

“We are sorry over the loss of life,” Netanyahu said. “This is clear.”

The prime minister also denied reports that Israel is considering compensating those injured in the clashes.

“That is not up for discussion,” Netanyahu said.

The clandestine talks between Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu which took place in Brussels earlier this week caused a small spat between Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Netanyahu acknowledged that it was a mistake not to update the foreign minister on what was happening.

“I explained the circumstances [to Lieberman], the mistake was fixed and we are moving forward. The coalition is not in danger,” Netanyahu said.

Speaking about the actual meet, Netanyahu said “It’s good that there was contact on a senior level, even if there are no agreements. It’s good for Israeli interests and even for Turkish interests to try and stop the deterioration [in relations].”

Netanyahu said that different people had approached him in recent weeks with proposals of finding ways to contact Turkey in order to stop the worsening of relations.

“One of them was Ben-Eliezer, who proposed an unofficial meet at the airport in Zurich. I told him ‘go ahead, meet.’”

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