Feb. 11, 2016
- Hurdles Remain for Israel-Turkey Reconciliation Deal – Barak Ravid
Another round of talks between Israel and Turkey was held on Wednesday in Geneva. A senior Israeli official said that a number of hurdles remain. While Turkey demands free access to Gaza including letting Turkish vessels dock in the Strip, Israel wants to maintain the naval blockade on Gaza. Egypt also objects to increased Turkish involvement in the Strip.
Regarding Hamas’ activities in Turkey, Israel claims that even though Ankara expelled senior Hamas operator Salah Aruri, who masterminded terror attacks in the West Bank, Hamas still operates a headquarters in Istanbul, which engages in fundraising and in planning attacks. Israel is demanding that Turkey shut down the Hamas headquarters and ban the group from its territory.
In addition, Israel is demanding that any agreement with Turkey include the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin who were killed in the 2014 Gaza war. (Ha’aretz)