Israel has ruled out any formal apology for the May 31 attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left nine Turkish activists dead.
In a meeting with Israeli Trade Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer in Brussels on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reiterated Ankara’s demands that Israel apologize for the deadly attack on the Turkish-owned ship Mavi Marmara, offer compensation to the victims, agree to an international investigation, and end the blockade of Gaza.
Ankara, a former ally of Israel, recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv and cancelled military exercises with Israel. It has also twice denied Israel the use of its airspace.
The international community condemned the attack on the Freedom Flotilla and several countries summoned Israeli ambassadors.
On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the attack, describing it as an act of self-defense.
“Israel cannot apologize because its soldiers had to defend themselves to avoid being lynched by a crowd,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Channel 1 public television.
However, Freedom Flotilla activists have said the use of deadly force by the Israeli troops who boarded the Mavi Marmara was totally unjustified.