The 2010 MV Mavi Marmara incident led to a prolonged diplomatic crisis between Israel and Turkey but today, it is expected to be resolved, as representatives from the two countries are set to meet in Rome to draft a final reconciliation agreement. Meanwhile, the families of the Israelis who are being held by Hamas are outraged about the agreement, which does not include the return of their loved ones.
Netanyahu and Erdogan Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
Six years after the diplomatic crisis following the IDF raid of the MV Mavi Marmara, the two countries are expected to declare today (Sunday) that they have reached an agreement after intense negotiations. The Political-Security Cabinet is expected to approve the reconciliation agreement on Wednesday.
The Turkish and Israeli negotiation teams will meet today in Rome and work to complete the final draft of the agreement. On Wednesday, the Political-Security Cabinet is expected to approve the reconciliation agreement with Turkey. As part of the agreement, Israel will pay compensation to the families of the 2010 MV Mavi Marmara incident victims, while Turkey will withdraw all lawsuits against the IDF officers who raided the vessel.
2010 MV Mavi Marmara incident Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Channel 2 News
According to the agreement, the naval blockade on Gaza will continue but Turkey will be allowed to channel goods and equipment through the Ashdod Port to Gaza. In addition, Turkey will be allowed to build a power plant, desalination plant and hospital for the residents of the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, the families of St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin are calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ensure that the bodies of their loved ones be returned as part of the reconciliation deal with Turkey. The Prime Minister’s Office stated: “We are continuously working to return them to Israel.”
“We consider the current draft of the agreement between Israel and Turkey a very serious issue, as it does not include the return of the boys’ bodies- contrary to the explicit assurances from the Prime Minister over the last two years,” said the Goldin family in a statement.
Last night, Zahava and Herzl Shaul held a press conference at their home. “My son went to war in Gaza, two years have passed and he has not returned,” Zahava. “During these two years, I met many times with the Prime Minister, who promised that there would not be any negotiations with anyone without discussing Oron and Hadar. It is time that the Prime Minister uphold his promises. It can’t be that an agreement will be signed without our boys coming home.”
Zahava Shaul Photo Credit:Basel Awidat/Flash 90/Channel 2 News
The family of Avera Mengistu is also outraged about the agreement, which apparently does not include the return of Avera, who is alive and being held by Hamas. The Mengistu family will protest outside of the Prime Minister’s Office today. “My brother is ill, mentally disabled and is being held by Hamas- in contrast to all international treaties,” said Ilan, Avera’s brother. “Avera is still alive, He is my brother and the brother of all of us. Have we forgotten him? Prime Minister, help my brother who is being held captive.”