An Israeli newspaper has claimed that Turkish and Israeli diplomats have been in talks to revive diplomatic ties that have been frozen after Israel’s raid on Gaza flotilla, killing nine Turkish citizens in 2010.
Turkey has downgraded diplomatic level and has had no ties with Israel since. The Haaretz daily reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoy, Yosef Chiechanover met with senior Turkish diplomat Feridun Sinirlioğlu for a reconciliation to end the crisis.
Turkey has had three demands to be met before any compromise to restore diplomatic ties. Turkey demands compensation for families of the victims, an official apology from Israeli government and lifting the Gaza blockade. Israel has so far failed to respond positively, citing domestic opposition to a reconciliation on Turkish terms.
Israel’s Soviet-born Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is a critical opponent of any reconciliatory move from the Israeli government, has threatened to break the coalition if Netanyahu makes concessions in order to meet Turkish demands.
Eight Turkish nationals and one Turkish American were killed when the Israeli Navy attacked an international aid flotilla trying to break an Israeli blockade of Gaza in May 2010. Following the attack, Israel’s government set up the Turkel Commission, a commission of inquiry headed by Israeli Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel, to investigate the attack. Turkish leaders dismissed the Israeli investigation, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon repeated the demand for an independent investigation, stating that the Israeli investigation would not have international credibility.