Liberman, majority of Israelis oppose Turkey reconciliation deal

(JTA) – More than half of Israelis oppose the newly announced reconciliation deal with Turkey, according to a Channel 10 poll.

In addition, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said he is against the deal, several Israeli media outlets reported Monday.

Channel 10’s poll found that 56 per cent of Israelis oppose the deal that ends a six-year break in diplomatic ties between the two countries, while another 11 per cent has no opinion, i24 news reported.

Under the deal, to be signed Tuesday in Jerusalem and Ankara, Israel will pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the nine Turkish citizens killed in a 2010 raid on a ship, the Mavi Marmara, attempting to break Israel’s Gaza blockade, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, according to i24news.

Critics of the deal include those who object that it does not demand that Turkey use its influence with Hamas to  resolve the fate of two Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza and whose remains have never been repatriated. Others say Israel does not owe an apology or compensation to those killed on the Mavi Marmara ship because the activists attacked the Israeli soldiers.

Liberman, who sees Turkey as unrepentant antagonist of Israel, said he plans to vote against the deal when it comes before the security cabinet later this week. “We won’t make a campaign out of it just as I didn’t in my opposition to the [Gilad] Schalit deal at the time, but my position is known,” he said.

Liberman was referring to the 2011 Israel-Hamas deal in which Israeli prisoner Gilad Schalit was released in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

The Channel 10 poll, which interviewed 500 Jewish Israelis and 100 Arab Israelis, found that while Arabs mostly supported (72 per cent) the deal, Jews mostly opposed (65 per cent) it.

The poll’s margin of error was 4.2 per cent.

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