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Turkey working to free Gaza captives, soldiers’ remains — official

A senior Israeli official says Turkey has directed its intelligence agencies to push the Hamas terror group to release two Israeli captives in Gaza, as well as the bodies of two Israeli soldiers held in the coastal enclave.

Israel has a written pledge from the Turkish president to this effect, the official adds. “This is what Turkey can do for the time being,” according to the official.

The senior official says the issue of the missing and the captive Israelis was raised from the first day of negotiations.

Avraham Mengistu, undated. (Courtesy of the Mengistu family via AP)
Avraham Mengistu, undated. (Courtesy of the Mengistu family via AP)

The Israeli bureaucrat adds that the agreement on the NIS 20 million ($5.1 million) in compensation to the Mavi Marmara victims was reached three years ago. But the funds will only be released when the Turkish parliament passes a law to drop all lawsuits against Israel and Israeli soldiers, the official adds.

Raphael Ahren contributed

Zehava and Herzl Shaul say they have no definitive proof that their son Oron died after he was captured by Hamas in Gaza City on July 20, 2014. (JTA/Ben Sales)
Zehava and Herzl Shaul say they have no definitive proof that their son Oron died after he was captured by Hamas in Gaza City on July 20, 2014. (JTA/Ben Sales)

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