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Israel apologises to Turkey for raid on peace flotilla in 2010

22 March 2013

Israel has apologised to Turkey for the raid on a Turkish aid flotilla that caused the death of nine Turks and a Turkish American in 2010.

In a statement from Reuters, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he “expressed apology” to the Turkish people for any error that could have led to loss of life in the incident. He further agreed to pay compensation to the victims’  families. He also said that Israel and Turkey agree to co-operate to improve the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories.

This gesture has ended the huge rift between the two former allies.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered an apology to Turkey for a 2010 raid on an aid flotilla led by the Turkish aid ship, Mavi Marmara, when it was boarded by Israeli commandos while trying to transport aid supplies to Gaza in May 2010 in spite of an Israeli naval blockade, which resulted in the deaths of nine Turks and a Turkish American.

A Turkish official in Ankara confirmed the apology, saying that Netanyahu had called Prime Minister Erdogan to offer an apology and that Erdogan had accepted it.

The apology came hours after US President Barack Obama left Israel after a visit. It appears that it was the American president who brokered the peace offering.

President Obama said: “I am hopeful that today’s exchange between the two leaders will enable them to engage in deeper cooperation on this and a range of other challenges and opportunities. The United States deeply values our close partnerships with both Turkey and Israel, and we attach great importance to the restoration of positive relations between them in order to advance regional peace and security”.

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