Turkey, Israel Decide to Normalize Ties sine 2010 Deadly Raid

Turkey, Israel Decide to Normalize Ties sine 2010 Deadly Raid
Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:47:43

The Tel Aviv regime and Turkey have agreed to normalize relations, seriously damaged over a 2010 fatal raid by Israeli forces on a Turkish aid ship, an official says.

According to the Israeli official, whose name was not mentioned in the reports, the two sides reached "understandings" over the issue and drafted a deal during a secret meeting in Switzerland.

Under the deal, Israel should compensate the victims of the raid. Ankara and Tel Aviv would also exchange envoys and hold talks on the restart of gas exports to Turkey.

The agreement would see all Turkish lawsuits against the Israeli regime cancelled. Turkey would also prevent Salah Aruri, a senior Hamas member, from entering the country, the Israeli source added on Thursday.

The official said negotiating teams were made up of Yossi Cohen, the incoming Mossad chief, and Israeli PM's point-man for Turkish reconciliation Joseph Ciechanover, while Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu represented Ankara.

Israeli Channel 10 television said the agreement is expected to be signed "in coming days."

The Turkish government is yet to comment on the Israeli announcement. Back in June, Ankara acknowledged that the two sides were engaged in reconciliation talks.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara in the Mediterranean Sea, killing nine Turkish citizens and injuring about 50 other people. A 10th died last year after four years in a coma.

Following the raid, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and demanded a formal apology and compensation, as well as an end to the Israeli-imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Israel extended a formal apology to Turkey and after that negotiations on compensation began in 2013.

The flotilla was attempting to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, carrying aid to the Palestinians in the impoverished enclave.

The attack sparked international outcry and plunged relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara into an all-time low at the time; AFP reported.

S/SH

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