PM: 'Common Sense' Will Prevail With Turkey
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday sought to diffuse tensions stemming from Israel's diplomatic impasse with Turkey saying "Common sense and cold calculation" will prevail.
Netanyahu made the statements while touring Israel's southern border.
In light of Erdogan's recent bellicose rhetoric straining ties between Ankara and Jerusalem, Netanyahu said that "we shouldn't cling to all kinds of comments," and expressed confidence that "common sense and cold calculation are working overtime on our side, and from my understanding, not only on our side."
Netanyahu's comments come as Turkey announced it was replacing a US targeting system in its military systems that automatically identified Israeli planes as 'friendly' with a home-grown system that would allow Turkey to designate Israeli units as 'enemy.'
On Monday Turkey dispatched 3 warships to the eastern Mediterranean with Erdogan saying they would 'protect' Turkish ships seeking to violate Israel's blockade of Gaza.
Israel has said it will continue to enforce the Gaza-blockade, aimed at keeping arms out of the hands of terror organizations, which has set the stage for a high stakes game of brinksmanship at sea between Jerusalem and Anarka.
Meanwhile, Erdogan, who is visiting Cairo in pursuit of improved ties with Egypt, said in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Shoruq that while his country does not seek a military confrontation with Israel, the "Turkish Navy is prepared for every scenario – even the worst one."
Erdogan defended his recent comments about deployment of warships in the Mediterranean: "All we said is that warships will protect Turkish boats from an attack in international waters.
"It's our legitimate right, and no one can deny us. This statement angered Israel, because it wants to maintain its control over the international waters in the Middle East," Erdogan noted.
Under international maritime law any national ship has the legal right to board and inspect private vessels in international waters who engage in activities whose consequences a) extend to the coastal state, or b) disturbs the peace of the country or disrupts the good order of the territorial sea, or c) the assistance of local authorities has been requested by the captain of the ship of consul of the country whose flag it flies, or d) is necessary for the suppression of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs.
The UN Palmer Report, which infuriated Turkey, concluded Israel's blockade of Gaza was "legal and appropriate" - and noted had no detrimental impact on the delivery of goods to the Hamas-run enclave on Israel's coast.