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LOCAL > Mavi Marmara victim to donate compensation to Hamas, Islamic Jihad

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One of the victims of the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla has announced that he will donate the compensation to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israel apologized to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara raid in which nine Turkish nationals died and agreed to pay compensation to the families of the victims.

Activist Mehmet Tunç said he would donate the compensation to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine himself, adding that he would not touch even “one Turkish Lira” of it at a press conference today.

Tunç had been a volunteer on the Mavi Marmara ship traveling to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. He told reporters that nine of his friends had been martyred by the Israeli forces in a raid he called “against international law.”

Abdullah Demirel, Tunç’s lawyer, said the Israeli government had apologized for the first time in its history and that it was a “huge development.” Demirel also said they had been informed by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the compensation issue.

Dinner for victims’ families

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu hosted the families of the Mavi Marmara victims late April 2. The ministers informed the families at a dinner about the recent reconciliation process between Turkey and Israel, which was started by an Israeli apology for the losses in the Mavi Marmara incident. The lawyers of the families were also present at the meeting.

The families have not yet made their final decision as to whether accept the compensation that will eventually be offered by Israel and withdraw from cases against Israeli soldiers, according to sources.

Arınç said that the families had said that “any words about compensation would sadden them. The core of the issue is the apology and lifting of the embargo [on the Gaza Strip]. The government’s work on compensation would be right for them as well.”

According to Arınç, Israel’s acceptance of paying compensation would lead to the withdrawal of the lawsuits over the case -- in particular the high-profile trial in absentia of four Israeli ex-military chiefs by an Istanbul court. “Two things cannot happen at the same time: They [the families] will either accept the compensation or they will wait for the conclusion of the lawsuits,” he said in a televised interview.

He also went further, saying that all 10 families of the victims should accept Israeli compensation, otherwise it would not be possible for Turkey and Israel to reach a deal

April/03/2013

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