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Netanyahu: Israel Need Not Apologize For Killing Nine Turks In Aid Flotilla

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says that his country does not need to apologize for a deadly raid last year on a Turkish-led aid flotilla that tried to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.

In his first public remarks about the confrontation, Netanyahu told his cabinet on September 4 that Israel was defending "our civilians, our children and our communities."

He did express regret about the deaths of Turkish citizens, saying he hoped ties with Turkey can be mended.

Turkey wants Israel to apologize and lift the Gaza blockade.

On September 3, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara would challenge Israel's blockade at the International Court of Justice next week.

On September 2, Turkey expelled Israel's envoy to Ankara and suspended military cooperation following the release of a UN report on the killings.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the former allies to mend their relationship in order to help the Middle East peace process.

compiled from agency reports

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