Israel and Turkey are going to normalize diplomatic relations, 6 years after during the Israeli RAID on Gaza bound flotilla killed 8 Turks and an American citizen of Turkish origin.
Full details will be announced later, the Israeli officials. Israel will pay compensation to the Turkish families, and also discussed the plan for the return of ambassadors to Ankara and tel Aviv.
In addition, Turkey agreed to drop all lawsuits against Israeli soldiers and of Israel in the Israeli RAID, said officials. Turkish and Israeli officials concluded an agreement in Rome after a series of meetings, beginning last year. Both sides struck a cautious optimism about the agreement, but serious challenges still remained between the two countries, which were in tension.
Turkey demanded Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza before an agreement is reached, while Israel is demanding Hamas leaders operating in the country. Under the agreement, Turkey will provide humanitarian aid and non-military supplies to Gaza, making investments in infrastructure, a senior Turkish official said that Hamas is not mentioned in the contract.
Turkey plans to build a hospital for 200 beds in Gaza and increase electricity supplies and drinking water, said the Turkish official.
Relations between the two countries deteriorated, when in may 2010, Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara, a ship bound for Gaza.
Turkey has long been a close ally of Israel in the region, but the RAID marked the end of normal diplomatic relations as both countries withdrew ambassadors in the incident.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the RAID in March 2013, admitting to "operational errors." At the time, many analysts predicted a warming in relations.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of state John Kerry has called for reconciliation and worked to re-try on the two countries, as both are key us allies in the region. Vice-President of the USA Joe Biden spoke with Netanyahu by phone on Sunday evening, where he "congratulated the Prime Minister for the progress towards the normalization of relations with Turkey, noting the significant positive outcome and economic benefits for both countries".
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