Tue, 08 Jun 2010 07:00:07 GMT
A retired senior commander in the Israeli army says that any move by Turkey and its premier to protect aid convoys to Gaza would be considered an act of war and Israel should sink such ships. (click to read more)
The Israeli army's former deputy
chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan
"If the Turkish prime minister joins such a flotilla," Dayan said "we should make clear beforehand this would be an act of war, and we would not try to take over the ship he was on, but would sink it," former deputy chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan told Israel's army radio on Monday.
"We need to draw a clear line and say that whoever crosses it will not be boarded but sunk," al-Jazeerah news website quoted Dayan as saying.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Mustaqbal reported on Saturday that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan had told close associates about a plan to visit Gaza to "break the Israeli blockade."
The paper said Erdogan was considering traveling aboard a Turkish Navy vessel in support of aid convoys to Gaza.
The Turkish government had strongly condemned a May 31 attack by Israeli naval commandos on a Turkish-sponsored aid convoy heading for Gaza.
The onslaught on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters killed 20 activists accompanying the six-ship fleet and injured more than 50 others wounded, sparking shock and outrage around the globe.
In protest to the attack, Ankara recalled its ambassador to Israel and called for an international probe into the actions of the Israeli navy in the offensive. Turkey also demanded an apology by Tel Aviv, a measure Israel said it would not take.
The Turkish Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul has already launched an investigation in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considered the main suspect and General Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are also suspects.