Sunday, September 4, 2011

'Turkey must cut all ties with Israel'

Lawmaker Hossein Naqavi

Source: Press TV

A senior Iranian lawmaker has urged Turkey to take serious action towards completely severing its ties with Israel, downplaying Ankara's recent expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

“[Turkey's] contracts and contacts [with Israel] are still in place with the expulsion of the ambassador of the [Israeli] regime,” member of the Majlis (Parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Hossein Naqavi told Fars News Agency on Saturday.

“If Turkey has the intention of taking practical measure vis-à-vis the Zionist regime [of Israel], [it] must display this practical measure by terminating and revoking its contracts with this regime,” he noted.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the country had suspended all its military ties with Tel Aviv and expelled Israel's envoy from Ankara.

The measures came in response to Israel's refusal to apologize for its attack on an aid flotilla, which set sail for the Tel Aviv-blockaded Gaza Strip in May 2010. Israeli soldiers attacked a Turkish-flagged aid convoy, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring many others.

At the time, the Israeli military claimed that its commandos opened fire only after being attacked with clubs and knives and acted in self-defense. But activists on board the Mavi Marmara said Israeli troops started shooting as soon as they boarded the ship.

A UN inquiry into the deadly incident also blamed Israeli troops for using excessive force after boarding the aid ship.

"Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range," the long awaited UN report also known as the Palmer report said.

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