Israel apologizes for Gaza flotilla deaths

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey on Friday for "any errors that could have led to loss of life" during the 2010 commando raid on an aid flotilla that was trying to breach the Gaza blockade.

    Agreeing with with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Netanyahu said the families of the nine activists who were killed would be compensated.

    In the past, Netanyahu has only expressed regret for the deaths.

    A statement issued by Netanyahu's office said that in the telephone conversation with Erdogan, "The prime minister made it clear that the tragic results regarding the Mavi Marmara were unintentional and that Israel expresses regret over injuries and loss of life.”

    Erdogan's office said he had accepted the apology, "in the name of the Turkish people".

    The deal was brokered by Barack Obama during his first visit to Israel as U.S. president earlier this week.

    Nine people were killed on board the Turkish aid ship, Mavi Marmara, after it was boarded by Israeli commandos while trying to ship aid supplies to Gaza in May 2010 despite an Israeli naval blockade.