Citing diplomatic relations with Ankara as a high priority for Tel Aviv, Israeli officials have acknowledged that fence-mending measures should be adopted to rebuild the regime’s strained ties with Ankara and reestablish its defense-related exports to Turkey, Ha’aretz daily reported.

Officials at Israeli defense and interior ministries argue that an apology to Turkey will avert legal problems for commandos and soldiers that took part in the armed raid against Freedom Flotilla I on May 31, 2010.

Israeli commandos violently attacked the aid-laden relief mission which had set sail for the Gaza Strip, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring around 50 others.

The assault strained Israel-Turkey bilateral ties, already clouded over Tel Aviv’s attacks on Gaza at the turn of 2009, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

However, a number of Israeli authorities, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, have expressed opposition to making a public apology over the raid, arguing that the admission of guilt would be humiliating for the Israeli regime.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said on several occasions that Tel Aviv must apologize and pay compensations over the killing of nine Turkish activists.

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