Washington – Israel’s largest daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, reported on Wednesday that the Obama Administration is threatening Israel to either apologize to Turkey over its bloody interception of a Gaza aid flotilla last year, or risk strained ties with Washington.
Israeli diplomats in Washington told the newspaper that they had received a communique from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisting that the rift between Israel and Turkey was harming American interests in the region, such as affecting regime change in neighboring Syria.
But Israel does not intend to apologize to Turkey for the deaths of Turkish pro-Hamas activists who attacked IDF soldiers, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama have pressured Israel recently to improve ties with Turkey.
With his statement to Clinton Netanyahu sided with his Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon, who have argued against an apology. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has argued that Israel should apologize if doing so would improve ties with Turkey