Israel: Erdogan to blame for delay in flotilla raid compensation deal
Israel has largely blamed Erdogan for delaying the compensation deal due to his demand to have a protocol be included in the deal that affirms Israel's commitment to ending its blockade of the Gaza Strip (File Archive/AFP)
Senior Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told public radio this week that Turkey's Prime Minister is to blame for the delays on finalizing a compensation deal for the killing of nine Turkish nationals during the 2010 Gaza Flotilla raid, according to Agence France Presse Thursday.
"I am in favour of an agreement with Turkey, but (the current impasse) is Erdogan's fault. I don't understand Erdogan's behaviour," Steinitz said.
Israel and Turkey have "been locked in talks" for over 11 months regarding the compensation deal after Israeli soldiers killed the nine Turkish national aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla in May 2010. In recent weeks, Israel and Turkey have been "close to an agreement," according to a Turkish official Monday, but Erdogan then told reporters Tuesday that a written "protocol" that includes Israel's commitment to ending its blockade on the Gaza Strip is "necessary" before any deal would be finalized.
Though Israeli's Prime Minister has refused to comment on this issue to reporters publicly, negotiators close to the Jewish leader says that Bibi has rejected the idea "out of hand."
The 2010 raid largely destroyed what was once close relations between Israel and Turkey. After the incident, Ankara demanded a formal apology and compensation for the families of the nine killed Turkish nationals, but it was not until March 2013 that Israel issued its apology and began negotiations with Ankara on the compensation deal.
- Israel set to shell out 'tens of millions' in compensation for Turkey flotilla deaths
- Erdogan demands Israel lift Gaza blockade as pre-condition for flotilla negotiations
- Ankara-Israel compensation deal for 2010 Gaza raid victims announced ahead of Sunday's election in Turkey
- UN agency demands compensation after Israel blasts Gaza warehouse
- Erdogan: Turkey still demands apology from Israel