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Turkey-Israel ties fall to new low in response to UN flotilla report

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“Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza,” the report says in its opening paragraphs. “The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”

Turkey is particularly upset by the conclusion that Israel’s naval blockade is in keeping with international law and that its forces have the right to stop Gaza-bound ships in international waters, which is what happened in the 2010 episode. That conclusion oversteps the mandate of the four-member panel appointed by the United Nations secretary general and is at odds with other United Nations decisions, Turkey argued.

Turkey and Israel had developed strong ties over the past two decades, with trade worth $3 billion a year and significant military cooperation. But the 2009 Gaza war between Israel and Hamas drew condemnation from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sparking a deterioration of relations on numerous fronts.

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