by David Rosenberg
Senior minister bashes PM over Turkey deal; Liberman expected to oppose compensation fund for Turks.
A reconciliation agreement reached between Turkey and Israel on Monday that includes a $20 million Israeli compensation package for pro-Hamas Turkish citizens killed in 2010 is expected to face opposition in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s cabinet later this week.
The agreement, which is set to be signed on Tuesday, will likely be brought to the cabinet for ratification on Wednesday.
But some senior cabinet members have already signaled their intention to vote against the deal, with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) telling supporters during a faction meeting that he would maintain his opposition to reconciliation with Turkey.
“I don’t see any reason to go back on my opposition to the agreement,” Channel 2 reported the Yisrael Beytenu chief as having told party members. “The compensation [package] has serious implications.”
Liberman pledged, however, not to politicize the vote.
“I won’t make a campaign [issue] out of this, just as I did not do with the Shalit deal, despite my well-known position on that.”
Speaking on Monday with the families of the fallen soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, whose bodies have been held by Hamas since 2014, Liberman again emphasized that his position on the agreement with Turkey had not changed.
A second senior cabinet member, Yediot Ahronot reported, blasted the reconciliation agreement as a "disgrace".
"This is a disgraceful process; the Prime Minister is bringing us a fait accompli. He's turning us into a rubber stamp."
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) refused to comment on the agreement, insisting that she would reserve judgement until she had the opportunity to view the deal in its final form.
"We'll address the matter only when we've seen the details. Everything I'll have to say about the agreement I'll say in the cabinet, whether in favor or against it."
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