Peres sends condolences over Reyhanlı bombings as Netanyahu opts out: Report
sraeli President Shimon Peres is pictured as he is welcomed by Italian Prime Minister at Chigi Palace in Rome on April 30. AFP photoIsraeli President Shimon Peres expressed his condolences for the victims of the Reyhanlı attack, sending a personal message to his counterpart Abdullah Gül on May 17, a week after the twin bombings that killed 51 and injured more than a hundred, Israeli daily Haaretz reported May 19. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office decided against issuing its own message after a draft letter of condolences was prepared.
Peres' message came as both countries entered a normalization process following Israel's apology last March for the Mavi Marmara raid in 2010 that killed nine Turkish citizens. The countries are currently in talks over compensation for the victims of the Israeli operation.
Peres emphasized in his message that the attack in Reyhanlı demonstrated the need to enhance cooperation between Israel and Turkey.
"I wish to express my deep pain at hearing the news of the murderous terror attack in Reyhanlı," Peres wrote, according to excerpts obtained by Haaretz. "On my behalf and on behalf of the people of Israel, I convey my sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of Turkey as a whole."
Peres also expressed a wish that the two countries "look forward for a better future."
Foreign Ministry advises Netanyahu to send condolences
The report also said the Israeli Foreign Ministry had advised the Prime Minister's Office to send a message of condolence on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. "At one point a draft of a condolence message was prepared, but it was shelved for reasons that are not clear," it said.
A message has been conveyed, but at a lower level, through National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror, who wrote to Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, who formerly served as the Turkish ambassador to Israel. Both officials had played a key role in preparing the ground for Netanyahu's apology on March 22.