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Local media reports from Israel and Turkey indicate that the two countries have reached an agreement to renormalize relations after six year of diplomatic turbulence caused by the deaths of 10 Turkish activists on a mission to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2010.
Both sides had been motivated to complete the deal in recent months, as Israel searches for potential customers for its newfound energy reserves in the Dead Sea and NATO-allied Turkey strives to regain regional power, according to Al-Jazeera.
The United States, formally an ally of both nations, has also urged both countries to secure the terms of the agreement.
Feridun Sinirlioglu, the undersecretary to the Turkish foreign ministry, and Israeli representative Joseph Ciechanover met in Rome to discuss the deal, according to the Turkish news source Hurriyet.
"The deal will see Israel apologize for the 2010 attack on an aid flotilla travelling to Gaza, in which 10 Turkish nationals were killed by Israeli commandoes, compensations for the victims' families and a minor easing of Israel's blockade of the Palestinian territory," Al Jazeera reported.
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Turkey had listed three conditions for the deal to go forward. Two of them—that Israel would formally apologize and compensate for the deaths of the Turkish activists—had been accepted earlier this year, but the third condition, which demanded that Israel lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, had remained an obstacle.
Israeli reports say the Jewish state’s government will fund and oversee the construction of a new power station, hospital and desalination plant for the Strip’s citizens. Turkish aid would also be allowed to enter the territory through the Israeli port of Ashdod.
The fund compensating for the deaths of the 10 Turkish activists will contain $20 million, the AFP reported.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…