Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has voiced his opposition to an apology to Turkey for the deadly Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid convoy that killed nine Turkish citizens.
In an interview with an Israeli radio station, Lieberman said an apology is a sign of weakness “and they don’t like weakness here. It is forbidden to be weak, and an apology is first and foremost a message of weakness.”
Lieberman went on to say that an apology to Ankara would not change damaged Israel-Turkey ties, that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has no intention of improving his country’s relations with the regime.
“Erdogan was not only calling for an apology, but also for a lifting of the naval blockade of Gaza,” he said.
Lieberman also rejected paying compensation to the families of the nine Turkish victims, saying the move would prepare the ground for future legal action against Israeli troops.
The Israeli military attacked the Gaza-bound relief aid convoy Freedom Flotilla in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea in May 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens onboard the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara and injuring at least 50 other activists who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.