According to the newspaper, the UN-appointed panel to investigate the raid on the Mavi Marmara vessel has ruled that IDF soldiers boarded the ship with an intention to kill.
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The Turkish daily claimed that this assertion is what prompted the debate within Israel's government on whether the Jewish State should issue an apology to Turkey. The Forum of Eight Ministers was expected to discuss the issue on Sunday.
According to the article, Israel is considering compensating the families of the nine people killed aboard the ship, and intends to issue a statement regretting the loss of life - regardless of Turkey's demand for an official apology.
The newspaper claimed that Israel is worried that such an apology will pave the way for international law suits to be filed against the IDF soldiers.
Commandos boarding Mavi Marmara (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)
The newspaper went on to express optimism that Israel and Turkey are to make progress in improving ties when officials from both nations meet in New York on Tuesday. As per the article, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon is expected to confer with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, among other officials. Sources in Jerusalem confirmed that Yaalon will be traveling to New York, but said that they are unaware that any such meeting was scheduled.
"I'm in favor of improving relations but this should not be at the expense of Israel alone," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said prior to Sunday's cabinet meeting. "It's in the interest of both countries to improve relations and the ball is in Turkey's court. There is no reason for Israel to apologize, there are soldiers who were sent to do their job mid-sea."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak also addressed the report: "I hope we won't have to answer these questions this week and that we have more time to fully examine the matter. It is our business to protect officers, commanders and soldiers from possible overseas lawsuits."
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