Sept 9, 2011
A top Israeli minister on Friday described as “grave and serious” a threat by Ankara to send warships to escort any aid vessels trying to reach the Gaza Strip in defiance of Israel’s naval blockade.
Israel and Turkey have been locked in a bitter dispute since May 2010 when Israeli naval forces stormed the Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of six international aid ships trying to reach Gaza, killing nine Turkish nationals.
The crisis deepened over the past week, with Turkey expelling the Israeli ambassador and axing military ties and defence trade.
On Thursday night, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that Turkish warships would escort any aid ships trying to reach the Palestinian enclave.