ANKARA (AFP) – A Turkish rights group denounced Wednesday the praises showered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the naval commandos whose raid on a Gaza-bound aid boat killed nine Turks.
“Netanyahu’s insolence has no limits,” Bulent Yildirim, head of the Islamic charity IHH (Foundation of Humanitarian Relief), which owned the boat in question.
“Killing innocent and defenceless people is not heroic,” he added.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu lauded the commandos’ action as “vital, necessary, legal and of the utmost importance,” during a visit to their base near the Israeli city of Haifa.
The deadly May 31 raid that killed the Turkish activists and left scores injured sparked international outrage and chilled relations between Ankara and the Jewish state.
Israel says its troops were attacked with clubs and knives when they landed aboard the Mavi Marmara ferry and only opened fire in self-defence.
But activists on board claimed the Israeli commandos opened fire as soon as they hit the upper deck of the ship.
On Wednesday, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal told reporters that Ankara was still waiting for apologies and compensation from Israel for the incident.