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Turkey tables $20m deal to normalise Israeli relations

MPs submit deal that would see Israel pay Ankara $20m in return for Turkey dropping outstanding legal claims over Mavi Marmara raid
Ten Turkish citizens died in the Mavi Marmara raid off the coast of Gaza (AFP)

Turkish MPs have proposed a settlement deal with Israel that would see the latter pay Ankara $20m within 25 days in return for Turkey dropping outstanding legal claims, ending a six-year rift.

The agreement has been forwarded to parliament for ratification before the legislative body goes into summer recess later this month.

In June, Turkey and Israel signed a deal to restore their ties which hit an all-time low after the 2010 raid by Israeli commandos on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, which left 10 Turks dead.

The text of the agreement submitted to parliament reaffirms that Israel will pay Turkey $20m in compensation within 25 days.

The legal case targeting the Israeli commandos who staged the raid will also be dropped, the report said. 

Israeli cabinet ministers in June approved the deal reached with Turkey, leaving Ankara to make the final ratification step.

But the Turkish government failed to send the deal to parliament because of time pressure created by the failed 15 July coup attempt, which Turkey blames on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. 

Once the normalisation deal is ratified by parliament, Turkey and Israel will begin the process of exchanging ambassadors to fully restore their diplomatic ties.

It is not clear on which day the deal will be debated.

Israel had already offered compensation and an apology over the raid but with the agreement it also eased the naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, allowing Ankara to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged Palestinian enclave.

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