Security cabinet set to finalize agreement normalizing ties with Turkey next week

Approving the agreement would put at long last an end to the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, and lead to the normalization of ties between the two countries.

June 23, 2016 21:49
1 minute read.
Israel Turkey

Israel and Turkey flags. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The security cabinet is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to approve a rapprochement agreement with Turkey that is expected to be finalized on Sunday, according to senior government officials.

Approving the agreement would put an end to the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, and lead to the normalization of ties between the two countries.

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Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who before taking over his position last month was firmly opposed to an agreement with Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is not expected to oppose the arrangement.

Neither Ankara nor Jerusalem is expected to have all its demands met.

Turkey had demanded that Israel lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip as a precondition to normalization, something Israel refused to do. Instead, Jerusalem is expected to let Turkey transfer aid to Gaza through the port in Ashdod, and will also let Turkey build a power and desalinization plant in the Strip, as well as a hospital.

Israel had demanded that Turkey close Hamas’s command center operating in Istanbul, something the Turks denied ever existed, and oust the terrorist organization from the country.

Turkish officials have said in recent days that Ankara will not change its attitude toward the organization, though there are reports that it will ensure that it does not use Turkey to plan attacks against Israel.

Israeli and Turkish teams are expected to meet on Sunday at an undisclosed European location. The Israeli team will be headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy Joseph Ciechanover, and the Turkish delegation will be led Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, a former ambassador to Israel.

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