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Turkey 'plans diplomatic assault' after Israel refuses apology

Aug. 18, 2011 5:31 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 18, 2011 5:32 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Turkey plans to launch a diplomatic and legal assault on Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to apologize for the 2010 raid on the Gaza aid flotilla, Israeli media said.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper says Turkey now intends to implement "Plan B", which will include a campaign in UN institutions, with an emphasis on the International Court of Justice.

Turkey also plans to encourage the families of the nine victims to file suits against senior Israeli figures in European courts and reduce the level of ties with Israel, according to the report citing foreign ministry sources.

Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said Wednesday that as long as Israel does not "apologize, pay compensation and remove the embargo over Gaza, it is impossible to heal relations between Turkey and Israel."

Israel's 2010 botched operation left nine Turkish nationals dead and sparked a diplomatic crisis with Ankara.

A United Nations report into the flotilla affair, whose publication has been postponed at least twice this year to allow time for the two sides to reconcile their differences, is due to be released on August 20.
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