image Pro-Palestinian activists wave Turkish and Palestinian flags during the welcoming ceremony for cruise liner Mavi Marmara at the Sarayburnu port of Istanbul December 26, 2010. Nine Turkish activists died in May when Israeli commandos raided the boat, which was part of a flotilla seeking to break the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTXW0M8

Turkish court dismisses ‘Mavi Marmara’ case against IDF soldiers

A Turkish court dismissed over the weekend a case against Israeli soldiers that took part in a raid of a Turkish ship that aimed in 2010 to break a blockade that Israel imposes against the Gaza Strip, which claimed the lives of 10 Turkish citizens. The ship, called the Mavi Marmara, was part of a larger flotilla that sought to reach the Palestinian enclave with humanitarian-aid, in a political protest against what they alleged was ‘the unlawful maritime blockade of the Hamas-run enclave’. Following the deadly incident, Israeli-Turkish relations broke down; yet after intensive negotiations, the two countries reached an agreement to normalize ties in June earlier this year – a rapprochement driven by the prospect of lucrative Mediterranean gas deals as well as mutual fears over security risks in the Middle East. As part of the agreement, Turkey sent on Saturday night its ambassador to Israel, one week after Jerusalem sent its ambassador to Ankara, completing the technical proceedings of the accord aimed at normalizing relations between the two countries.