Israel pays Turkey $20 million in compensation for Mavi Marmara

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Israel has deposited $20 million in the account of the Turkish Ministry of Justice as compensation for victims of the Mavi Marmara flotilla, part of a reconciliation agreement between the two countries.

Turkey and Israel normalized relations in August after the Turkish Parliament approved a deal for Israel to pay compensation to victims of the 2010 assault on the Mavi Marmara, a ship carrying humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.

Parliament in August approved a bill that instructs Israel to pay $20 million to the families as part of a normalization agreement between the two countries struck in July after a six-year freeze in relations.

The compensation will be paid to the families of the 10 slain activists as well as 54 who were injured and dozens of others who were affected by the attack.

In early September the surviving victims and the families of the 10 activists who were killed in the 2010 Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara aid vessel said they had not yet decided what to do about the compensation, with some of them finding the amount inadequate.

Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara while it was in international waters, killing nine activists on board and injuring 30. One of the injured activists subsequently died, bringing the death toll to 10.

Turkey demanded an official apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed and the lifting of Israel’s Gaza blockade. Three years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret over the incident to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then Turkey’s prime minister and now the country’s president.

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