News Analysis: Turkey-Israel relations to remain strained after Israeli flotilla report

09:49, January 25, 2011      

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by Adam Gonn

After the Israeli Turkel Commission cleared the Israeli soldiers of wrongdoings during last year's deadly raid on a Turkish flotilla bound for Gaza, the relations between Turkey and Israel are expected to remain strained.

The Commission, appointed by the Israeli government and headed by a retired supreme court judge to investigate the Israeli commando raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in Mediterranean last year which killed nine Turkish citizens, reported its finding that the soldiers acted in accordance with international law.

According to the report, Israel was acting in accordance with international law when it stopped the ship, part of a six-ship flotilla heading to Gaza in an attempt to break Israel's naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled enclave. The commission also found the use of force by the Israeli soldiers that rappelled on to the ship was proportional, because their lives were threatened.

While the finding of the report was praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted by saying the Israeli report has no value or credibility.

Local pundits said the tense relationship between the two countries, the historically close partners, would most likely continue as each side expects the other side to take the first step towards reconciliation. Furthermore, analysts said there is a tendency in both countries of not being able to look at the problem from the other side's perspective.

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