June 6, 2010
Uzi Dayan, former deputy Chief of General Staff in Israel, says the Jewish state should consider a possible Turkish military escort of Gaza aid ships an act of war. “If the Turkish prime minister joins such a flotilla,” Dayan told Israeli army radio, according to the Jerusalem Post, “we should make clear beforehand this would be an act of war, and we would not try to take over the ship he was on, but would sink it.”
It is unprecedented for a top level state official to threaten a head of another state with murder.
Israel has refused to cooperate with an independent investigation of the incident that resulted in the death of between nine and nineteen activists. The Turkish government remains unequivocal in its condemnation of the action taken by the Israeli Navy. Most of the victims were Turkish citizens.
On June 5, the Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he is not only planning to dispatch the Navy on the next flotilla, but that he is considering accompanying them personally. Erdogan reportedly raised the idea in conversations with close associates and even informed the United States of his intention to ask the Turkish Navy to accompany another aid flotilla to Gaza. The Americans asked Erdogan to delay his plans because of tensions on the region, the Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal reported on Saturday.
Uzi Dayan is the nephew of Moshe Dayan, the fourth Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Defense Minister and later Foreign Minister of Israel.
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