Israeli NGO reveals further details on Turkey-Israel deal after Mavi Marmara

An Israeli NGO has now presented a document to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that claims to the full-text of the Mavi Marmara deal between Turkey and Israel, signed in 2016.

The deal was signed between Turkey and Israel, in an effort to normalize ties between the two countries, following Israel army raided the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish boat which had been seeking to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip back in 2010.

10 Turkish activists were killed and another fifty-five were injured by Israeli soldiers.

The document submitted by the NGO, the Israel Law Center (ILC), contains five more articles not been revealed before, according to a BBC Turkish report.

Gulden Sonmez, the lawyer representing the Israeli victims of the attack, called on the government to make an announcement on those confidential and more severe provisions than the disclosed ones.

Sonmez, also an activist and one of the passengers on Mavi Marmara, posted on her social media account: “Revealed document has severe provisions for many respects. The Turkish government has not yet denied it. If true, it cannot be accepted in terms of procedure and content.”

She added in the same Twitter post that victims’ families have the right of being clearly informed by the authority. For her, the deal should be cancelled, the perpetrators should be judged and the embargo on Gaza should be lifted.

Secret five articles of the deal are about “humanitarian aid to Gaza” and “mutual act to prevent terrorist attacks”, according to the revealed supplementary document.

The agreement had been publicized as having six provisions which are only about “payment of $20m by Israel in compensation to the families of those killed on Mavi Marmara” and “passing legislation to protect Israelis from legal claims, in return for $20m payment.”

Israeli navy helicopter flies over the Mavi Marmara

Over and above, the deal was officially registered as having only those six articles in the Turkish Grand National Assembly and then was adopted as such.

The incident resulted in a high diplomatic tensions between the former allies. Criminal cases were opened against Israeli authorities in Turkey. Turkey and Israel unexpectedly agreed to put an end to the dispute and normalize their relations in 2013 by a reconciliation deal and by an agreement in 2016.

After the attack, Turkey came up with three conditions to be met by Israel.

They were; an apology, payment for the benefit of the deceased and injured victims and their families and the lifting of the embargo on Gaza. The first two conditions were somehow fulfilled by Israel, while the third one on the embargo remains unlifted.

Families of victims refused to withdraw their cases and pursued legal proceedings against the perpetrators before the ICC. They also did not accept the Mavi Marmara Deal, since they found it unlawful and contrary to the constitution.

They pursued the legal actions of opposition and appealed against the agreement which guarantees Israel’s exemption from all legal and criminal proceedings either to be or could be opened against it in future in Turkey regarding the Mavi Marmara incident.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then the president, praised the activists and the organizing NGO regarding the Mavi Marmara incident until the deal between Turkey and Israel. However, he criticized them after the deal, saying “did you ask to me before, while you were delivering aid to Gaza from Turkey?”

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