Israel's Counter-Terrorism Bureau: Avoid Turkey

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Following Monday's confrontation at sea with the Gaza protest flotilla, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel advisory warning Israelis not to visit Turkey.

"In response to the events surrounding the protest flotilla, there are growing protests by the government and public in Turkey. At this stage, relatively quiet demonstrations are taking place around the Israeli consulate in Istanbul and the Israeli Embassy in Ankara. This delicate state of affairs is liable to deteriorate into violent outbreaks against Israelis in Turkey.

"Israelis due to leave for Turkey should - at this stage - refrain from traveling until the situation becomes clear.

"Israelis currently in Turkey should remain in their places of residence, avoid city centers and sites in which demonstrations are being held, and monitor developments out of concern that the situation could worsen."

Meanwhile, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said his country is recalling its Israeli ambassador, cancelling three planned military drills with Israel, recalling a youth soccer team visiting Israel, and requesting an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said "No one has the right to do this. No one is above the law."

But Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel told IMRA (Independent Media Review and Analysis) that the Israeli Navy acted well within its rights under international law.

Dr. Sabel said a state can detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo in international waters during a time of conflict.

Furthermore, it is permissible to respond with force if the vessel attempting to break the embargo uses force.

Dr. Sabel said there have been many such embargo encounters in international waters.

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YNet news contributed to this report.

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