After a six-year rift during which the relationship between Israel and Turkey was strained, the two countries have agreed to rebuild ties.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday ratified the Israel-Turkey reconciliation pact agreed upon by the two countries and signed in June.
The Turkish parliament approved the deal in august, ending a six-year rift between the two former allies.
Turkey and Israel will now begin the process of exchanging ambassadors and fully restoring their diplomatic ties.
Israel and Turkey were former close allies, but relations imploded in 2010 following the Mavi Marmara incident.
The Mavi Marmara was part of a flotilla of Turkish vessels traveling to Gaza, ostensibly to deliver humanitarian aid and medical supplies, but in reality it was an attempt to defy Israel’s sovereignty and was meant to support the Palestinian Hamas terror organization, which rules Gaza.
The only humanitarian aid found on board were boxes of expired medications.
IDF forces boarded the ship and were viciously assaulted. They killed 10 Turkish nationals while defending themselves, and several IDF soldiers suffered wounds as well.
After the raid, the countries withdrew their ambassadors, largely cut security ties and have since maintained only low-level diplomatic relations.
Under the deal’s terms, Israel and Turkey will restore full diplomatic relations.
Israel will pay $20 million in compensation for the families of people harmed in the raid, and is allowing Turkey to deliver aid to Gaza through an Israeli port and to carry out a series of development projects in Gaza, particularly with regard to water and electricity. Israel has already enabled this, regardless of the new agreement.
In return, Turkey agreed to prevent legal claims against Israel over the raid, and to prevent any terrorism activity or fundraising in Turkey. Turkey maintains close ties with Hamas, the Islamic terror group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction and is labeled a terrorist organization by Israel and the West.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News