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Prosecutor asks court to drop Mavi Marmara case due to Turkish-Israeli deal

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A public prosecutor on Friday asked a high criminal court in İstanbul to dismiss the trial of suspects in connection to an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 because Turkey and Israel have signed a reconciliation agreement.

The trial of four Israeli suspects in absentia including former chief of staff Gaby Aschkenazi, former navy chief Eliezer Marom, former air force chief Amos Yadlin and the former head of air force intelligence Avishai Levi began in İstanbul in 2012.

During Friday’s hearing at the İstanbul 7th High Criminal Court, the prosecutor asked the court to drop the case because Turkey and Israel signed a reconciliation agreement over the flotilla raid.

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.

In September, Israel deposited $20 million in the account of the Turkish Ministry of Justice as compensation for victims of the Mavi Marmara flotilla.

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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