Ministers Bennett, Shaked to Vote Against Turkey Reconciliation Deal

Habayit Hayehudi ministers say they will oppose the pact for its failure to guarantee the return of two soldiers' remains from Gaza and compensation paid to families of Turkish citizens killed in a 2010 maritime raid.

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Ministers Bennett and Shaked before a cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights, April 2016.
Ministers Bennett and Shaked before a cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights, April 2016.Credit: Efi Sharir
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Two ministers of the far right Habayit Hayehudi said on Tuesday they will vote against a reconciliation agreement with Turkey that was announced on Monday, ending a six-year diplomatic crisis.

In a statement, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said he and party member Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, both members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, would oppose the deal. Bennett said he had received an update on the agreement on Monday, and saw that there was no "substantial" undertaking on Turkey's part to help Israel win the return of two Israelis believed being held captive in Gaza or the remains of two soldiers killed in a 2014 war.

 "The reconciliation with Turkey is an important Israeli interest but paying out compensation to the perpetrators of terrorism poses an unprecedented risk that Israel will later regret. As long as Turkey has control over Hamas it would be best for it to do all it can to ensure the return of [slain soldiers] Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul to Israel," Bennett's statement said.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is also expected to vote against the deal, sources in his Yisrael Beiteinu party have said on Monday.

Despite Bennett, Shaked and Lieberman's opposition, the agreement will likely be approved by the security cabinet in voting expected on Wednesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a clear majority, with the backing of Likud, Kulanu and Shas ministers.

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