Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call today offered an apology to Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan for the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, according to the White House pool report. The phone call occurred as President Obama left Israel for Jordan. The raid, which left nine dead, was Israel’s military response to a Turkish human rights organization’s attempt to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza strip.
Netanyahu apologized for the Mavi Mara flotilla incident and acknowledged “operational mistakes,” said one official. Erdogan accepted the apology, according to this official. The other SAE called this a “first step” toward normalization between the two countries. They said this had been the subject of talks between Obama and Netanyahu in Jerusalem this week.
An Israeli investigation of the incident revealed the operational mistakes cited by Netanyahu. Israel’s move against the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, was blamed for a deterioration in the relationship between Israel and Turkey; the two leaders agreed today to normalize relations between their countries.