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Turkey indicts IDF commanders over Gaza flotilla deaths


Turkey is putting four former Israeli military commanders, including the head of the army, on trial in absentia this week for the 2010 killing of nine Turks on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

The trial, which begins in Istanbul on Tuesday, will further test relations between the one-time strategic allies and has been dismissed by Israel as a "show trial" and "political theatre."

Relations between Israel and what was once its only Muslim ally, crumbled after Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks in clashes with activists on board.

The rift has continued despite U.S. efforts to encourage a rapprochement between the two regional powers whose cooperation it needs to address changes sweeping the Middle East.

Israel and NATO member Turkey, which both border Syria, once shared intelligence information and conducted joint military exercises, cooperation which has since been cancelled.

A Turkish state prosecutor is seeking multiple life sentences for the now retired Israeli officers over their involvement in the nine killings and the wounding of more than 50 others.


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