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Israel and Turkey move closer to reconciliation, normalized relations

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Itongadol.- Israel and Turkey are on the verge of a diplomatic reconciliation that will pave the way for a full-fledged restoration of normalized ties that predated the infamous Marmara incident of 2010, Channel 10 reported on Thursday.

Yossi Cohen, the National Security Council chief who is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s choice to succeed Tamir Pardo as head of Mossad, met in Switzerland with a Turkish official on Wednesday, Channel 10 learned.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the two sides agreed to re-station ambassadors in their respective countries. Turkey agreed to nullify all legal claims against IDF soldiers involved in the Marmara affair.

Israel, for its part, agreed to establish an aid fund for the families of those who died in the raid.

Earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country stood to benefit from restored relations with Israel.

As part of the understandings reached with Cohen, Ankara also agreed to Israel’s demand that it cease permitting terrorists freedom of operation in Turkey. Salah Aruri, the senior Hamas official believed to have masterminded the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion last year, will not be permitted to enter Turkey.

As part of the deal, Turkey will also permit a gas pipeline to run through its territory. In addition, Ankara has agreed in principle to immediately purchase natural gas from Israel.

The Channel 10 report was confirmed later on Thursday evening by an official in the Prime Minister’s Office.

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