Israel Pays Turkey $20 Million in Reparations Agreed Upon in Reconciliation Deal

Funds to be given to families of civilians killed on board Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010; Israeli, Turkish ambassadors expected to be appointed in coming days.

Turkish ship Mavi Marmara arriving at Sarayburnu port in Istanbul in December 2010, as people wave Turkish and Palestinian flags.
Mustafa Ozer/AFP

Israel transfered $20 million to Turkey on Friday, an amount agreed upon in a reconciliation deal between the two countries as reparations for the civilians killed on board the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010.

The sum was delivered to a humanitarian fund that will divide up and transfer the money to the families of those killed during the Israeli military raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Local media reports cited senior sources in Ankara as saying that Israel and Turkey would appoint ambassadors within the next ten days.

Israel and Turkey signed the reconciliation deal at the end of June, some six years after the flotilla incident in which nine Turkish activists were shot and killed by Israeli commandos and 20 others were wounded, most of whom were activists with the IHH organization.

Israel's security cabinet approved the agreement a day after its signing and the Turkish parliament ratified it last month after being delayed due to a failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish government.

As part of the agreement, Turkey gave up on its demands that Israel lift its naval blockade of Gaza and committed to drafting legislation to remove the threat of prosecution against the Israeli soldiers who participated in the Mavi Marmara raid. 

In exchange, Israel agreed to allow the construction of Turkish humanitarian structures in Gaza, like a water desalinization plant and hospitals while also promising to pay the $20 million that was handed over on Friday.

The agreement normalized relations and stated that restrictions on cooperation between the two countries would be lifted.