Number 222 | March 25, 2013
Israel will pay compensation to victims' families and lift civilian restrictions to Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan on Friday for the 2010 Israeli commando raid on Mavi Marmara, a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid ship, that killed 9 Turkish citizens, including a young Turkish-American. With Turkey and Israel being two of Washington's closest allies in the region, President Barack Obama facilitated the call between Netanyahu and Erdogan and said: "The United States deeply values our close partnerships with both Turkey and Israel, and we attach great importance to the restoration of positive relations between them in order to advance regional peace and security."
During his call , which was made during a meeting with President Obama before his departure from Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized for the tragic outcome of the deadly Mavi Marmara incident, which he stated was not intended by Israel. On behalf of the Turkish people, Erdogan accepted the apology and expressed the importance he attaches to the shared history and centuries old ties of strong friendship and cooperation between the Jewish and Turkish peoples.
According to official statements, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed regret over the deterioration in bilateral relations and noted his commitment to overcoming existing disagreements in order to advance peace and regional stability. He mentioned that Israel already lifted some restrictions on the movement of civilians and goods to all Palestinian territories, including Gaza, and stated that this would continue as long as the "calm is maintained."
Both leaders agreed to conclude an agreement on compensation/nonliability for the tragic flotilla raid. Also, the two leaders agreed to continue to work together to improve the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories.