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Friday July 2, 2010 12:31 PM (EST+7)
Israeli minister denies promising Turkey compensation for Gaza flotilla victims

Read more: Mavi Marmara, Israeli navy raid, Gaza blockade, Freedom flotilla, aid convoy, Gaza convoy, Israel - Turkey relations, Turkey - Israel relations

 RAMALLAH, July 2 (JMCC) - Israel has denied reports on Friday that he had agreed to compensation for the families of the 9 activists killed in Israel’s Navy raid on the Turkish aid flotilla.

The indication came from secret talks held in Brussels on Wednesday between Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that during the meeting Ben-Eliezer indicated that Israel was rethinking its refusal to compensate or apologize to the families of the victims of Israel's navy raid on the Mavi Marmara on May 31.

“Davutoglu reminded Ben-Eliezer of Turkey’s demands from Israel, including an apology, payment of compensation to families of those killed and wounded, an international inquiry and an end to the blockade of Gaza,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters.

Turkish sources have reported that during the meeting the two ministers tried to hammer out an acceptable version of the apology Turkey is demanding from Israel, as well as agree on compensation for the families of those killed in Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. There has to be a clear Israeli statement that is not just an expression of regret at the deaths of the victims, one Turkish source stated.

Meanwhile, a Turkish human rights organization announced that preliminary findings indicate that some of the victims were killed by gunfire from inside Israel Navy helicopters and not by soldiers who had boarded the ship.

The clandestine meeting between Israel and Turkey was the first high-level talks between the brittle allies since the incident. Relations have continued to worsen in recent weeks with Turkey’s refusal to allow Israel’s military access to Turkish airspace and warning that the same treatment will be afforded to Israeli commercial flights if Israel does not apologize for its actions against the mavi Marmara. The meeting caused a public uproar in both Israel and Turkey.

Read more at Haaretz...







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