Turkey Threatens Israel with Sanctions
by IPT News • Sep 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm
A day before the scheduled release of the United Nations-commissioned report concerning the violent 2010 Gaza flotilla incident in which nine people died, Turkey is threatening sanctions against Israel if it does not receive an apology before the report's publication.
The Palmer Commission's report on the Israel Defense Force's raid of the flotilla has been postponed three times following agreements between Turkey and Israel. This time, however, Turkey refused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request to extend the scheduled Sept. 2 release date.
"The release date of the UN report is the last date for us. We will put Plan B into play if no [Israeli] apology," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told the Turkish daily Today Zaman on Thursday.
In another statement, Davutoğlu added that Turkey planned to "impose sanctions which both Israel and other international parties are aware of," if Israel failed to comply with Turkey's demand for a public apology.
The two long-term allies were close to reaching an agreement on an acceptable resolution to the Flotilla incident, according to Davutoğlu, who blames "intra-coalition squabbles" in Israel for the breakdown of negotiations.
The report is expected to conclude that Israel's blockade on the Hamas government in Gaza is legal; that Turkey facilitated the flotilla, and that members of the Turkish group who led the trip wanted to provoke a violent confrontation with Israelis. It also is expected to say the Israeli troops used excessive force in defending themselves.