Lieberman: Israel’s rejection of apology to Turkey came too late

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman praised the decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday not to apologize to Turkey for last year’s Gaza flotilla raid, but said Israel should have done so earlier.

“It is a shame that we did not make this decision earlier,” Lieberman said in an interview to Channel 2 television on Wednesday. “The fact that it took us some time reflects our lack of confidence.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that Israel will not apologize for the deadly raid on the Gaza-bound ship the Mavi Marmara in 2010, which killed nine Turkish activists.

An official in Jerusalem said that Netanyahu told Clinton that Israel does not oppose the publication of the report of the Palmer Committee, which investigated the events surrounding the flotilla, but that the date of the report’s release depends on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.