Sep 12, 2011

Mixed Response to UN Report

David DolanBy David Dolan

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The Israeli government is continuing efforts to restore broken diplomatic relations with Turkey following Ankara’s angry expulsion of the Israeli ambassador the first week of September.

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip ErdoganThe Islamic government in Turkey severed all military ties with Israel and vastly downgraded diplomatic ties to the lowest level possible. This came in the wake of a UN report which said Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal under international law. Israel has argued all along that it has a right to halt ships heading toward the Gaza City port in the Hamas-ruled coastal zone since Hamas and other Muslim groups have frequently fired Iranian-supplied rockets at Israeli civilian centers.

The port was opened as part of the Oslo peace accord signed on the White House lawn in 1993. The Israeli naval blockade was imposed after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip four years ago.

While Turkey totally rejected the UN report’s findings, Israeli officials accepted them, although they were not happy with a section which said troops used excessive force when halting a Turkish flotilla from steaming to the Gaza Strip last year.

Related Links

Erdogan: Turkey ready for all scenarios - YNet News
Erdoğan: Mavi Marmara raid was ‘cause for war' - Today's Zaman
Erdogan expected to lambast Israel on Cairo trip - Jerusalem Post
Turkish warships to head for Gaza - Globes
Turkey attempts to rally diplomatic alliance against Israel - The Telegraph