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      Turkish FM Satisfied with Israel's Apology

      Turkey got everything it wanted with Israel's apology over the Marmara incident, says Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
      By Elad Benari, Canada
      First Publish: 3/23/2013, 12:00 AM

      Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
      Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
      Reuters

      Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressed satisfaction on Friday with Israel’s apology for the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

      Davutoglu, who just recently hinted there was a “secret deal” between Israel and Syria, said that all of Turkey's fundamental demands had been met with the apology. Earlier, Netanyahu spoke on the phone with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and apologized for the deaths of nine Turks during Israel’s 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

      Channel 10 News reported on Friday the details of the agreement between Israel and Turkey. Netanyahu, in addition to the apology, has agreed to compensate the families of the nine Turks who were killed and to ease some of the restrictions on Gaza.

      Erdogan, for his part, has promised to cancel the legal proceedings his country launched against IDF officials, including former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and stop his constant verbal attacks against Israel.

      The apology evoked outrage from MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu), who slammed Netanyahu and said, "Such an apology harms IDF soldiers' motivation and their willingness to go out on future missions, and strengthens the radical elements in the region.”

      Justice Minister Tzipi Livni welcomed the news of Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey.

      "This is a very important and correct step, and I told this to the Prime Minister,” she said. “At this time, especially with what is happening in Syria, there are common security interests to Israel, Turkey and the United States. It’s an excellent final note to Obama's visit."

      The apology was also welcomed by opposition leader MK Shelly Yechimovich (Labor), who said, "Even if the apology to the Turks was made with a heavy heart, it is good that it was made. It’s better to overcome pride and do what is wise and most beneficial to the state. Turkey is a regional power and relations with it are important to Israel.”

      Kadima chairman MK Shaul Mofaz said the apology was "one of the achievements of the successful visit of U.S. President Barack Obama. There is great importance to the relationship between the two countries, both in the political as well as the economic sphere. Renewing this relationship is much more important than considerations of honor and prestige among the leaders.”

      At the same time, MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad), who was on the Mavi Marmara when IHH terrorists attacked IDF soldiers who boarded the ship, said that Netanyahu’s apology is “not enough”.

      "You want to apologize? Apologize to those you've kept under siege, that those nine activists were killed on their behalf, and begin to understand that there is no possibility of a normal Israeli life when it is accompanied by the settlements, the occupation, the siege and the persecution,” she said.

      (Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)