Israel will stick to its refusal to apologise to Turkey for killing nine of its citizens on a Gaza-bound ship, officials have said, a position Ankara said would sink any prospects for reconciliation.
The decision, which officials said the prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu conveyed to the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in a telephone call, was made days before the anticipated publication of the findings of a UN inquiry into the seizure of the Mavi Marmara last year.
The so-called Palmer report was repeatedly delayed to allow for Israeli-Turkish rapprochement talks amid concern in Washington at the rift between two countries that had been strategic partners in an increasingly stormy Middle East.
"We're firm on not apologising," the Israeli official said in comments later confirmed by the foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman in an interview with an Israeli television network, in which he called it "a wise and correct decision". more