Turkish Lawmakers Ratify Reconciliation With Israel

Vote in Turkey's parliament paves way forward to normalization of ties.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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Turkey's parliament officially ratified the rapprochement deal with Israel in an early plenary session on Saturday morning, paving the way for the normalization of ties, including the appointment of ambassadors.

The vote effectively turned the agreement, signed in June, into law, stipulating that all legal claims would be dropped against Israel soldiers and officers who participated in the takeover of the Turkish flotilla to Gaza in May, 2010.

Also stipulated in the arrangement, Israel will have 25 days from the date the agreement goes into effect to transfer $20 million to a humanitarian fund created by the Turkish government. The fund will be used for compensation payments to the families of the Turkish citizens killed by Israeli soldiers during the takeover of the 2010 flotilla's lead ship, the Mavi Marmara.

With the deal ratified by Turkish lawmakers, the process of normalization is set to begin, including the removal of sanctions both parties have imposed on one another, an increase in the level of diplomatic relations and an exchange of ambassadors.