The Guardian reports:
Turkey is to challenge Israel’s blockade on Gaza at the International Court of Justice, amid a worsening diplomatic crisis between the once close allies.
The announcement by Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu appears to rebuff UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s attempt to defuse the row over Israel’s armed assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in which nine people were killed.
Turkey dramatically downgraded its relations with Israel, cutting military ties with its former ally and expelling the country’s ambassador over his government’s refusal to apologise for the killings of eight Turkish citizens and a Turkish American last May.
Ban said today that the two countries should accept the recommendations of a UN report that examined the incident. The report found Israel had used “excessive and unreasonable” force to stop the flotilla approaching Gaza, but that it was justified in maintaining a naval blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
But Davutoglu later dismissed the report, stating it had not been endorsed by the UN and was therefore not binding.
“What is binding is the International Court of Justice,” he told Turkey’s state-run TRT television. “This is what we are saying: let the International Court of Justice decide.
“We are starting the necessary legal procedures this coming week.”