Israeli “Strategic Affairs” Minister, Moshe Yaalon, stated Thursday that Tel Aviv will not issue any apology to Turkey for the Israeli attack against the Turkish Ship, MV Marmara, on May 31, 2010, leading to the death of nine Turkish peace activists.During a meeting with foreign reporters, Yaalon stated that Israel is not willing to issue any apology, and that “an apology means accepting to be held responsible for the death of the activists”.

Yaalon added that Israel is open to the idea of “expressing regret for the deaths, but will never issue any apology”.

Ankara is demanding Tel Aviv to issue an official apology, and to compensate the families of the victims.

Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, also stated that Israel will never issue an apology, while officials in his ministry said that “Israel wants to mend its relations with Turkey”.

Ozdem Sanberk, a senior Turkish official said to be involved in the attempts to mend the ties between Ankara and Tel Aviv, stated Tuesday that he believes Israel will issue an apology.

Representing his country at a UN Committee, Sanberk said that “he would be surprised if Israel does not issue an apology “especially since both sides have the will to end the crises”, the Al Ahram Egyptian daily reported.

The Turkish ship was part of the Freedom Flotilla that was heading to the Gaza Strip to challenge the illegal Israeli siege on the coastal region, and to deliver urgently needed medical and humanitarian supplies.