Barak speaks with Turkish ministers after Gaza ship incident
Defense minister telephones Ankara officials, holds emergency meeting with IDF chief of staff. Meanwhile, Minister Ben-Eliezer says, 'It was obvious this was media provocation. We are not Shiite suicide attackers, soldiers must defend themselves'
Hours after the takeover of the Gaza aid ships, Israeli ministers are trying to subdue the flames. Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke with the Turkish defense minister, foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the Turkish ambassador to Israel.
Barak, who held an emergency meeting with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, also spoke with Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently on an official visit to Canada, is receiving updates on the situation.
In addition, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who is currently in Qatar, told Ynet, "It was obvious to all that this was a media provocation, aimed at reaching a confrontation with Israel. Anyone who didn't realize this – did not know what they were talking about. We are not Shiite suicide attackers, and it is the soldiers' duty to defend themselves."
At least 10 activists were killed in the takeover of the aid ships, and dozen were injured. Several IDF soldiers were also injured, one in serious condition, from gunshots and stabbings.
Ben-Eliezer, who is in Doha or a series of meetings at an economic forum, added that he was being updated on the situation in the Mediterranean Sea.
"Unfortunately, it doesn't look good," he said, "According to the information I have received, they ambushed our soldiers the moment they landed on the deck, with sticks, knifes, bottles and metal objects. We are not Shiite suicide attackers. The soldiers must defend themselves."
Despite the takeover, Ben-Eliezer plans to continue his visit in Qatar. "I am going forward with my visit as scheduled. I am scheduled to appear in a number of panels at the World Economic Forum. While it may be unpleasant, I am used to such situations, there is no threat to my wellbeing," he said.