Olmert: Israel Needs to Repair Ties With Friendly Nations After Gaza Flotilla Raid

In interview with Army Radio, former PM Olmert says that the current government should make a big effort to improve relationship with the world and avoid sinking into isolation.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday that Israel faces a grave and worrying political situation in the wake of the IDF raid on a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla on Monday in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.

"The government needs to make a big effort to rehabilitate the political situation with friendly nations that are angry at us and to avoid sinking into isolation,' Olmert told Army Radio. "We need to return the situation to what it was not too long ago when we were a friend of the world."

Olmert added that Israel's relationship with Turkey is strategically important.

"I think it is possible to repair the relationship [with Turkey]," Olmert said.

Olmert did not want to comment on the raid itself but said that the soldiers of Israel's Shayetet 13 naval commando unit are "the best of the best."

"There are none like them in terms of bravery, humanity and combat capabilities," he said.

Olmert also said that he is optimistic that he will be proven innocent various corruption accusations against him.

"I did not anticipate that I would have to spend so much time in legal proceedings after being Prime Minister, but I believe with all my heart that I will be exonerated," Olmert said.