Turkey has not given Israel any ultimatum and normalization talks between the two countries continue, according to an Israeli official. The official was responding to reports on Tuesday that Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan gave Israel an ultimatum requiring it to apologize for the Mavi Marmara incident, compensate the families of the nine Turkish citizens killed and end its maritime blockade of Gaza. If it failed to do so, according to reports, Erdogan would adopt his "Plan B'" and would visit the Gaza Strip and further downgrade relations with Israel.
A decision was made last week to postpone the U.N.'s Palmer report, probing the raid on the first Gaza flotilla. The report is now set to be released next month. Until then, the Prime Minister's Office hopes that the dialogue with Ankara will yield an agreement to settle the differences between the two countries and restore the relationship they both enjoyed before the incident.
Israel is trying to find a different way of apologizing, perhaps through an expression of "remorse" over the deaths of the Turkish activists who were killed when Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara. The statement would refrain from an outright apology for an act that Israel believes was undertaken in self-defense.
In the past month, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon met with Turkish officials in an attempt to mend the relationship between Israel and Turkey. At this stage, sources say, the gap between the two sides is too wide to mend. A Foreign Ministry official said that the U.S. was involved in the mediation efforts between Jerusalem and Ankara.
At a press conference on Monday, Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about relations between the two countries. "I don't see anything that would indicate that they don't exist or wouldn't in the future," Mullen said. "I think the importance of the relationship, certainly, between Turkey and Israel, as well as the United States and Turkey and the United States and Israel, is critical in that region."