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Netanyahu denies apology, compensation to Turkey

PM tells Likud faction contacts with Ankara intended to prevent prosecution of IDF soldiers, says Israel's "relationship with Turkey is important."

December 13, 2010 17:15
1 minute read.
Netanyahu speaks in Tirat Carmel, Sunday

Netanyahu serious with flag 311 ap. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told members of his party talks are ongoing with Turkey regarding possible diplomatic solutions to the aftermath of the Mavi Marmara affair in a Likud faction meeting on Monday.

Responding to questions from MK Danny Danon, who asked the prime minister whether media reports about the payment of compensation to the families of those killed on the Mavi Marmara and the issuing of an apology to Turkey over the matter were true, the prime minister denied the veracity of the rumors.

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However, Netanyahu added that the "relationship with Turkey is important."

The prime minister explained to the Likud members that contacts with Turkey are intended to prevent any prosecution of IDF soldiers.

A report in Turkey's Zaman newspaper last week said that “Israeli military officials” were not opposed to paying compensation to the families of the nine Turks killed as they were trying to break Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza.

It was reported that Israel had offered to pay the families of those killed on the Mavi Marmara $100,000 each, but this was denied on Thursday by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

In the wake of the two Turkish planes sent to Israel last week to help fight the Carmel fire, talks between Israeli and Turkish officials to find a formula that would end the current crisis took place a week ago on Sunday and Monday in Geneva.

The Turks continue to demand an apology and the payment of compensation to the victims of the incident, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also adding that Israel needs to lift the blockade of Gaza in order for ties to return to normal.

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