UN report prompts Turkey to expel Israeli diplomats

Turkey has expelled the Israeli ambassador and suspended military operations between the two countries, on the back of a United Nations report into last year’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced the moves on Friday, describing some of the details to emerge from the report as “unacceptable”.

Israel, in fact, has misused many of the chances that were given to them and the Israeli government, on the other hand, see themselves [as being] above international laws and human conscience.

Turkey lowered diplomatic relations with Israel to second secretary level, recalling all envoys above that grade back to Ankara.

The BBC said that although relations between Turkey and Israel had been frozen since the flotilla raid, Friday’s measures mean relations are “being downgraded to the lowest possible level”.

Nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed when Israeli forces stormed the flotilla ship in May 2010. Israel has refused to apologize.

The U.N. report, which was first published when leaked to The New York Times on Thursday, found the raid was legal, although “excessive and unreasonable” force was used.

But Davutoglu said Turkey did not accept this outcome, and would take the matter to the International Court of Justice.

His comments came hours before the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was expected to formally receive the report.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 09/02/2011 - 12:17 pm.

    The U.N. considers Israel’s land blockade of Gaza illegal, but its naval blockade legal.

    Makes no sense to me, except as evidence of the current Israeli government’s (not the Israeli people) paranoia and willingness to use violence wherever they sense danger, no matter how unrealistic that sense may be.

    Thanks to Turkey for not backing down on its insistence that Israel recognize the nine deaths and mistreatment of all other passengers on the attacked ship as unjustifiable.

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