Turkey mulls harder line if Israel refuses to apologise

ANKARA — Turkey is preparing to harden its attitude towards Israel for its refusal to apologise over last year’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, official sources said on Tuesday.

The Israeli government has to date failed to either say sorry or compensate families of the nine activists who were killed in May last year in a commando raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-owned ferry which was leading the convoy.

Speaking after it emerged a UN report into the incident had been delayed yet again, a senior source in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government said that Turkey was ready to toughen its line towards its former ally.

“The ball is in the Israeli court. If it decides to apologise, then everything’s fine. If not, then we will have to resort to Plan B,” the Turkish diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Among the measures under consideration are moves to bring legal action against the Israeli commandos who took part in the raid or further chill already frosty diplomatic ties.

Turkey, which recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv after the raid and still only has a charge d’affaires in place, could further downgrade its diplomatic representation and withhold agreement when Israel wants to name a new envoy to Ankara, the source added.

Turkey would strive to have “the Palestinian voice” heard more in international organisations, particularly at the United Nations where Palestinians… >>>

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