A Turkish lawyer said Israel offered $6 million to the families of the nine flotilla activists killed on the Mavi Marmara in 2010.
Ramazan Ariturk said Israeli officials contacted him about a month ago, offering the restitution to be paid to a Jewish group in Turkey, which would then distribute the funds. Ariturk also said the officials promised to release a statement of “regret.” Israel has yet to confirm the reports.
"I told the ambassador I did not think the offer was appropriate or moral and also discussed the issue with the victims and their friends and they also stated that they could not accept this," Ariturk told Reuters.
Tensions between the two nations have heightened since the flotilla, when 600 demonstrators attempted to break down Israel’s water blockade around Gaza. IDF troops boarded the Mavi Marmara in a first attempt to quell protesters, but the soldiers were unable to break through. In a second attempt, nine Turkish nationals were killed.
Israel maintained that the activists were armed and a UN report last autumn concluded the soldiers used excessive force, but acted legally.
The UN statement only added to Turkey’s discontent. The two former allies have since seen a worsening of relations.
Meanwhile, an Istanbul lawyer submitted an indictment to Turkish courts Wednesday, seeking life imprisonment sentences for four Israeli soldiers involved in the raid, including a former chief of staff.