(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS)
Turkey says Israel paid compensation to families of 2010 flotilla raid victims – media
Israel has paid total compensation of $20 million to the families of the victims of an Israeli raid on a Turkish aid flotilla that killed 10 people in 2010, Turkish media quoted Turkey’s Finance Minister Naci Agbal as saying on Friday.
The payment, which will be divided among the 10 families, comes some nine months after Israel, which had already offered apologies for the raid – one of Ankara’s conditions for rapprochement – agreed to pay the families of those killed.
“Compensation has been paid to the families of those who lost their lives during the Mavi Marmara attack,” Turkish broadcasters quoted Agbal as saying.
Relations between Israel and Turkey broke down in 2010 when Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed by Israeli commandos enforcing a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. The soldiers raided a ship, the Mavi Marmara, leading a flotilla towards the Islamist Hamas-run Palestinian territory.
In June 2016 however, the two countries said they would normalize relations – a rapprochement driven by the prospect of lucrative Mediterranean gas deals as well as mutual fears over security risks in the Middle East.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan named a new ambassador to Israel in November last year, reciprocating a move by the Israelis, in a move toward restoring diplomatic ties between the once-close allies.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Richard Balmforth)