Mavi Marmara Victims Fear Israel-Turkey Deals will Jeopardise Legal Case

Victims of the Israeli raid on an aid flotilla in 2010 fear that their legal case may be dropped following the restoration of diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel.

Turkey broke diplomatic relations with Israel after the latter killed 10 human rights activists on board the Mavi Marmara.

A high court in Istanbul is scheduled to hold a hearing on the case today. Four Israeli generals were expected to be held accountable for the assault and unlawful detention of 740 activists representing 37 countries.

However, the activists fear the judge will dismiss the case following a deal reached between Israel and Turkey to restore diplomatic relations. In an interview, Human rights lawyer, Rodney Dixon, said: “Our concern on behalf of the victims, who have all participated in this criminal case, is that it will be stopped by the court as a result of the treaty.”

Under the new deal, Israel agreed to pay $20 million to Turkey in compensation to the families of 10 activists that were killed by Israeli forces without accepting legal liability. According to the specified agreement the two countries “do not attribute legal or other liability to the other side or its agents, and agree that this understanding will not be construed as an admittance of or the placing of criminal or civil liability on any side or its agents”.

The deal absolved Israel declaring “full release from any liability of Israel, its agents and citizens with respect to any and all claims, civil or criminal, that have been or will be filed against them in Turkey, direct or indirect, by the Republic of Turkey or Turkish real and legal persons, in relation to the flotilla incident.”

Earlier this month, Israel intercepted the freedom boat Zaytoun-Oliva which aimed at breaking the siege on Gaza. The all-women crew was detained before being deported to their respective countries.


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