State Responds to Petition Against Turkey Accord

YERUSHALAYIM -
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir denounced the agreement with Turkey as “shameful.” (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir denounced the agreement with Turkey as “shameful.” (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Attorneys for the state of Israel responded on Monday to a petition in the High Court to annul the reconciliation agreement with Turkey on the grounds that it undermines the rule of law and democracy and compensates the families of individuals who attempted to kill Israeli soldiers.

The petition, which argues that the agreement should be conditional “on distancing Hamas leaders from Turkey and ceasing Turkish support for Hamas,” was filed by bereaved families and the Otzma Leyisrael organization.

The state argued in response that the deal is a “a clear political agreement whose execution is at the core of the discretion granted to the Israeli government for running the state’s foreign affairs and security.”

The response noted that the High Court usually refrains from interfering in such political-defense matters, which are the prerogative of the executive branch.

It further asserted that the accord was the result of “inter-state discussion obtained after prolonged negotiations with a sober view that this is the best possible result that could be obtained in the existing circumstances. A result that realizes the political, defense, and clear strategic benefits for the state of Israel.”

The state appended the text of the agreement to its response. Included was a provision which provoked criticism on Monday, that “Turkey will be able to transfer money to the Gaza Strip via banks approved to work in Gaza by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, subject to Israel’s security considerations.”

The provision, which was not initially publicized, came under scrutiny after it was submitted along with the rest of the agreement to the court.

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represented the Otzma Yehudit nationalist group in the petition, denounced it as “a shameful deal. It seems that the government hid details from the public.”

The question being raised is how Israel can prevent Hamas from obtaining the Turkish funds via official “government agencies” in Gaza, all of which are controlled by Hamas.