Saturday, September 3, 2011

Turkey vows legal action against Israel

Israeli commandos during attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Turkey says it will seek legal action against the Israeli regime for its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound relief aid Flotilla last year after Ankara further downgraded its ties with Tel Aviv.

"Turkey will take legal actions against the Israeli soldiers and all other officials responsible for the crimes committed and pursue the matter resolutely," Turkey's embassy in Washington said in a statement, Reuters reported.

The threat came after a UN report said that Israel had used unreasonable force in its raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea in May 2010, during which nine Turkish activities were killed.

The report also described Israel's naval blockade on Gaza, which has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the impoverished territory, as 'legal.'

One day after the UN report was leaked to The New York Times, Ankara suspended all its military ties with Tel Aviv and has expelled Israel's envoy from Ankara over the regime's refusal to apologize for the attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

"Turkey also reaffirms that relations between Turkey and Israel will not normalize as long as Israel does not apologize and refuses to pay compensation for what it has done," said Ankara's embassy in Washington in a statement.

Turkey's President Abduallah Gul also said that expulsion of the Israeli envoy is just the first step in many possible measures taken against Israel if it persists in its refusal to apologize.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Saturday expressed his optimism that the two former allies could mend ties.

"I sincerely hope that Israel and Turkey will improve their relationship," Ban told reporters in the Australian capital, Canberra.

"Normal relationship will be very important in addressing all the situations in the Middle East, including the Middle East peace process," he said.

Observers believe Ban's statement and the recent UN report that legitimizes Israel's brutal siege of Gaza and its attack on a relief aid convoy reflect Tel Aviv's undue influence on the world body.

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