Despite fire aid, Turkey expects Israeli apology

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Turkey still expects an apology from Israel for its interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that led to the deaths of nine Turkish nationals, despite its assistance during Israel’s recent massive fire.

Turkey sent firefighting assistance to Israel over the weekend to help control the forest fire in Israel’s north that killed 42 people. But Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday that Turkey still demands an apology for the raid on the Mavi Marmara, and that Israel pay damages to the families of those killed and wounded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Dec. 4 said he hoped the gesture by Turkey "will serve as an opening to improve relations between Israel and Turkey." He spoke with Erdogan and thanked him for sending the assistance.

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