Turkey, Israel strike preliminary agreement to normalize relations


(JTA) — Israel and Turkey reached a preliminary agreement to renew normal relations.

The tentative agreement, hammered out during meetings in Switzerland, would include the reinstatement of ambassadors in both countries, Reuters reported Thursday, citing an unnamed Israeli official.

The Associated Press said the deal was reached by Israel’s Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen and the Turkish Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu.

Under the agreement, Israel will create a compensation fund for the families of the 10 Turkish citizens killed by Israeli forces on the Mavi Marmara in 2010. The ship was part of a flotilla of boats filled with pro-Palestinian activists attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. After the incident, Turkey to cut off relations.

JNI Media reported that the compensation fund will total $20 million.

According to The Times of Israel, Turkey has agreed to drop legal proceedings against the Israel Defense Forces soldiers involved in the Mavi Marmara raid and to crack down on terrorist groups. In addition, it will expel a Hamas leader said to be running operations out of Turkey.

The agreement also calls for installing a gas pipeline through Turkey and launching talks about the sale and purchase of natural gas.

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