Davutoğlu said in an interview aired on private Ülke TV late Thursday that he believes Israel “gained sufficient experience” after last year's Israeli raid on a flotilla that killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American and sparked international outrage. Each side accused the other of starting the violence.
A coalition of pro-Palestinian groups say a flotilla will set sail in the third week of June. Israel has vowed to stop any attempts to breach its sea blockade of Gaza.
Davutoğlu, meanwhile, reiterated that Israel should also lift the blockade of Gaza. “If Israel does not want new aid convoys, it should recognize the new Palestinian administration and lift the blockade of Gaza. Then there will be no grounds for new aid convoys to Gaza,” he said. “But instead of doing this Israel refuses to recognize the reconciliation deal in Palestine and insists on keeping Gaza under an embargo.”
Asked how Turkey would react if a similar tragedy was to be repeated this year, Davutoğlu said the government was assessing every possibility, including a worst-case scenario. “We hope there will be no such situation. We think Israel has enough experience not to repeat a mistake like that,” he said.
Palestinian group Hamas, which controls Gaza, reached a historic deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah on May 4 in Egypt, ending their bitter, four-year rift. Israel, however, refuses to recognize the deal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech to the US Congress this week that Abbas should terminate the reconciliation agreement with Hamas and return to negotiations with Israel.