The Israeli Government of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that Tel Aviv does not agree to the Turkish demand to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip in exchange for a reconciliation agreement between Tel Aviv and Ankara.The Turkish demand came on Tuesday when Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated during a press conference in Ankara that his country received an apology from Israel, and talks for compensating the families of nine Turkish peace activists, killed by the Israeli Navy while sailing to Gaza in 2010, are still ongoing.
The Turkish solidarity ship, Mavi Marmara, part of the Freedom Flotilla that was sailing to Gaza to challenge the illegitimate Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and deliver humanitarian supplies, was attacked in international water, and nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli fire.
Erdogan said that lifting the deadly blockade on Gaza is one of the conditions that his country will not drop, and that without lifting this siege, there cannot be normalization with Israel.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, has reported that the Office of Netanyahu said “the Turkish conditions will not be met”, explaining that Tel Aviv will not lift the siege on the coastal region, and will never, sign a written agreement pledging to lift the siege.
The statements came after Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, stated last Monday that Tel Aviv and Ankara are very close to signing an agreement normalizing the relations between the two countries.
In a study published by Haaretz a week ago, Israel made an offer to pay the families of the nine Turkish victims, and those hurt in the attack, $20 Million, and that Netanyahu even authorized his envoys to pay up to $23 Million.
Tel Aviv is seeking to have Turkey drop lawsuits filed against its officers involved in the attack, and to normalize relations between the two countries.
It also wants Turkey to pass a law that would cancel all pending lawsuits files against it, and to ensure the law blocs any future legal actions, locally and internationally.
Haaretz said Tel Aviv does not only want a symbolic normalization of relations, but also full relations, including diplomatic talks, mutual visits of officials and ministerial talks.
PM Erdogan, Condition for Negotiations: Lift the Gaza Blockade
Chris Carlson – IMEMC & Agencies, Wed, 12 Feb 2014 17:30:31
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, demanded that Israel lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip in order to secure his signature on an agreement between the two countries.
According to the Palestinian News Network (PNN), Erdogan said, in a press conference held in Ankara with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rakhoi, Wednesday night, that significant progress had been made in the talks with Israel.
Israel Channel 2 quoted an Israeli official as saying that Israel will not agree to ease the Gaza blockade as a part of the deal it is negotiating with Turkey.
Relations between Ankara and Jerusalem became strained after a raid on the Turkish-owned vessel, the Mavi Marmara, in May of 2010, to enforce a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Nine Turkish citizens were killed in the raid.