Steinitz defends pending Israel-Turkey deal: Monetary compensation 'moral obligation'

June 27, 2016 10:17


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Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz defended the detente expected to be reached Monday between Israel and Turkey.

Steinitz told Army Radio that from a moral standpoint Israel should pay compensation to the families of the 10 activists who were killed in an Israeli raid of the Turkish Mavi Marmara flotilla that breached Gaza's naval blockade in 2010.

He asserted that the monetary compensation of $21 million to the victims' families is worth the price when considering keeping the IDF soldiers involved in the incident from international criminal prosecution.

"It is feared that warrants for their [the IDF soldiers] arrest will be issued, in order to end the saga and protect the soldiers sent to thwart the flotilla, we must pay the amount to remove the threat," he told Army Radio, adding that such a move "is not pleasant but it is a moral obligation."

According to Steinitz, the compensation amount was set three years ago, however what hindered a deal from materializing was Turkey's refusal to drop its demand that Israel lift its blockade on Gaza.

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