Turkey in warning to Israel: You have one day to apologize for Gaza flotilla raid
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says UN-authored Palmer report on the 2010 incident must be published by September 2 as scheduled, and threatens sanctions if Israel doesn't apologize beforehand.
Turkey declared Thursday that it would not tolerate further delay in the release of a United Nations report concerning Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010, and warned of consequences including sanctions should Israel continue to refuse to apologize for the incident.
Publication of the Palmer Commission's report into the Israel Defense Force's raid, in whichTurkish activists died aboard the Mavi Marmara, has been postponed three times. In each case the delay took place following the consent of both Turkey and Israel, and as a result of their joint request to the UN secretary general.
Haaretz reported earlier this week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had suggested to both Turkey and to the United Nations secretary general that the release date again be postponed past the scheduled September 2 release date, and that the idea was dismissed by the Turks.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told the Turkish daily Today Zaman on Thursday that Ankara "could not accept a six-month extension."
"The release date of the UN report is the last date for us. We will put Plan B into play if no [Israeli] apology,” Davutoğlu told the Today's Zaman, without elaborating on what that "Plan B" may be.
In another reference to the possible consequences that would occur in the eventuality that Israel continued to avoid a public apology for the raid, the Turkish FM said that Turkey intended to " impose sanctions which both Israel and other international parties are aware of."
Davutoğlu explained, according to the Today Zaman, that Turkey has determined a very clear and principled position and that it will also do what is necessary.
According to the top Turkish official, Israel and Turkey were in fact already on their way to resolve the issue that has stood between the long-time allies for over a year, saying that the two countries were well on their way to agreeing on an apology, when Israel reportedly "stepped back" at the last minute due to what the Zaman has called "intra-coalition squabbles while making a political decision."
We patiently waited for Israel to decide. It seems Israel has some difficulty in making a decision. Turkey has already determined its position on this issue. We have already expressed that we cannot accept that,” Davutoğlu added.
The Turkish FM also said that Ankara would fulfill all that is required from it when the UN announces the report, adding that the flotilla raid report will not be a “jointly approved report” and that there might also be some elements that Turkey won't agree to. “We will unveil our position regarding those [elements],” he added.