Turkey’s dispute with Israel over its refusal to apologise for a raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has erupted into a fresh round of diplomatic sanctions.
Ankara has expelled the Israeli ambassador and senior embassy staff after it emerged that a UN report said Israel had used unreasonable force in the assault.
Turkish diplomats are also being withdrawn from Israel, and military agreements between the two countries suspended.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: “We have reached the point where Israel has used up all the chances we have offered. It is now time for the Israeli government to pay a price for seeing itself above the law and performing illegitimate actions without any human conscience and this price is to be deprived of Turkey’s friendship.
“Turkey does not recognise Israel’s blockade of Gaza. It will secure the examination of this blockade at the International Court of Justice.”
However the UN report says Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal.
Nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed when Israeli forces boarded several boats as they sailed towards Gaza in May 2010. Israel said its soldiers were forced to defend themselves after being attacked.
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