Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza, reports Turkish newspaper

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the lifting of the siege on Gaza is a basic condition for him to complete reconciliation with Israel; stresses that Ankara will not give up the issue.

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
December 19, 2015 14:39
1 minute read.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan . (photo credit: GERARD FOUET / AFP)

 
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Israel will ease its blockade on the Gaza Strip as part of a reconciliation with Turkey, the Turkish newspaper Sabah Daily, which is affiliated with the ruling party of Turkey, reported on Saturday.

According to t, Israel will also compensate the victims of the Mavi Marmara flotilla, totaling a sum of $20 million, and diplomatic relations will be restored between the two countries.

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The front page story in the paper reported that Turkey had already received Israel's vow to ease the blockade. The paper reported that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will close the deal by the end of 2015, and immediately return diplomatic relations between both countries.

When asked about the prospect of diplomatic reconciliation between Turkey and Israel, the Prime Minister's Office said that it was working towards restoring diplomatic ties, without mention of the Gaza blockade.

In recent years, incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the lifting of the siege on Gaza is a basic condition for him to complete reconciliation with Israel, and stressed that Ankara will not give up on this issue.

According to the report, along with easing the siege, the reconciliation agreement will also include compensation to the families of those killed in the Mavi Marmara incident amounting to roughly $20 million, the return of ambassadors to each others capitals, and a Turkish agreement not to file lawsuits against Israel or against Israeli soldiers regarding the flotilla incident.

Erdoğan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said that "the issue of normalizing relations between Turkey and Israel should include the payment of compensation for damage to the Marmara ship, and lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip."



Kalin added "If the Israeli side will follow through in this matter, then we will act accordingly. There is a need to pay compensation, and achieve results in the negotiations that took place on this matter."

Earlier this week, Erdogan told reporters that reconciliation “would be good for us, Israel, Palestine and the entire region.”

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.

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