Report: Turkey drops homicide case against Israeli officers

AP News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2016 1:23 PM
Report: Turkey drops homicide case against Israeli officers

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish court on Friday dropped a case against Israeli military officials charged in the deaths of 10 Turkish activists who had sought to breach the naval blockade on Gaza in 2010, Turkey's state-run news agency reported.

The four Israeli military officials were on trial in absentia in Istanbul, held responsible for the deaths of nine activists. A tenth victim died in a hospital in 2014.

The court in Istanbul also revoked arrest warrants that had been issued for the Israeli military officials, including the former military chief, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

The decision reflects a deal to mend ties between Israel and Turkey.

Under the deal reached this year, Israel agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to the victims of the 2010 Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid ship trying to reach Gaza. In return, Israeli nationals would not be held criminally or financially liable for the incident.

A prosecutor last week requested that the case be dropped.

Expecting Friday's outcome, families of the Gaza flotilla victims and their supporters marched out of the courtroom in protest before the decision was made.

They chanted "God is Great" and "Mavi Marmara is our pride" in reference to the Turkish ship at the heart of the case.

Attorney Gulden Sonmez held a picture of one of the Israeli defendants who had been on trial. "We've already condemned them," he said.