Turkish Official: Turkey Set to Conclude Deal With Israel

ISTANBUL (Reuters) -
The cruise liner Mavi Marmara is towed by a Turkish tugboat (R) as it leaves the port of the northern city of Haifa August 5, 2010. Israel released an impounded Turkish aid ship on Thursday on which its navy killed nine pro-Palestinian activists in a botched boarding as they tried to run the Gaza Strip blockade in May Photo by Herzl Shapira/Flash 90*** Maariv & Agencies OUT *** *** Local Caption *** ùçøåø îøîøä ðîì çéôä äîùè ìòæä îùè òæä ñôéðä
The cruise liner Mavi Marmara is towed by a Turkish tugboat (R.) as it leaves the port of the northern city of Haifa, Aug. 5, 2010. (Herzl Shapira/Flash90)

Turkey is about to conclude a deal with Israel on “all issues,” a Turkish official said on Tuesday, a sign the two former allies may be moving toward a compensation agreement for the killing of 10 Turkish provocateurs by Israeli commandos in 2010.

The two countries have stepped up efforts in recent months to restore a relationship that was severely damaged after an Israeli raid on a Turkish boat, the Mavi Marmara, which had been trying to breach a blockade on the Gaza strip.

The official made the comment at a briefing with reporters in Istanbul.

Israel allows commercial goods into Gaza daily but limits the transfer of certain items such as cement and building materials as it fears terrorists will use them to build fortifications.

Officials describe the blockade on Gaza, which is supported by neighboring Egypt, as a necessary means of preventing arms smuggling by Palestinian terrorists.