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Turkish parliament approves Israel reconciliation deal

Nations set to restore ambassadors as detente goes into effect; ratification was delayed by failed military coup

The Turkish parliament in June 2015 (Public domain/Wikipedia)
The Turkish parliament in June 2015 (Public domain/Wikipedia)

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s parliament has ratified a reconciliation deal reached with Israel last month, ending a six-year rift and paving the way for the restoration of full diplomatic ties.

Parliament voted to approve the pact early on Saturday before it closed for a summer recess.

Relations between the former allies imploded in 2010 following an Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid ship trying to breach Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The raid left 10 Turks dead and several IDF soldiers wounded.

Under the terms of the reconciliation agreement, Israel will pay a “lump sum” of $20 million in compensation to the victims within 25 days.

Individual Israeli nationals also would not be held criminally or financially liable for the incident.

The Mavi Marmara is seen off the coast of Israel in May 2010. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
The Mavi Marmara is seen off the coast of Israel in May 2010. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

Israel had already offered compensation and an apology over the raid several years ago, but with the agreement it also eased slightly its part in the blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, transferring humanitarian aid from Ankara through Israel’s border crossings with the Strip.

The Israeli Cabinet has already approved the deal.

Turkey’s ratification of the agreement had been delayed by the July 15 military coup attempt, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Turkey and Israel will now begin the process of exchanging ambassadors to fully restore their diplomatic ties.

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