The deal, which the prime minister said would be signed "with an understanding of the international arena, and an understanding of the security and economic needs (of Israel)," is the fruit of a protracted effort to restore severely ruptured diplomatic ties which never recovered after the Mavi Marmara flotilla skirmish in 2010.
Opposition Chairman Isaac Herzog said that "the deal with Turkey is part of the prime minister's modus operandi. He began with grandiose statements, continued with promises, and ended with subservience.”
“The restoration of relations with Turkey is an important political goal, but the reparations to those who attacked IDF soldiers is unacceptable, especially when it is signed by the Netanyahu – Bennett – Lieberman threesome,” he continued. “All should know that the leadership of the right is paying reparations to those who have attacked our sons."
Herzog also drew attention to the notable absence of Oron Shaul’s and Hadar Goldin’s return from Gaza as a stipulation in the Turkey-Israel deal, a fact which has caused public furor in Israel.
“Besides this incomprehensible compensation, my heart is torn to see the indifference and the ignoring of the families of those who are missing (in Gaza), who are yelling at the top of their lungs. Yet their cries are not getting through to the hearts of the people who sit in the cabinet."
Meanwhile, Former Defense Minister Amir Perez (Labor) said during a conference in Herzliya marking 10 years since the Second Lebanon War: "If a leftist government had made this agreement, (the attendees) wouldn't have been able to enter the conference because of all of the protestors who would have been outside."
Herzog and Peretz are not the only senior official to have come out against the agreement, albeit for different reasons.
A cabinet minister voiced his disapproval of Netanyahu’s agreeing to sign the deal on Tuesday, while only bringing it for the cabinet’s approval on Wednesday. “This process amounts to contempt as the prime minister is presenting the cabinet with a fait accompli,” the minister complained. “He is turning us into a rubber stamp.”
Matters could be made increasingly difficult for Netanyahu as Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is also expected to raise his own objections to the impending agreement.