Hamas Thanks Erdogan for Efforts to Ease Gaza Blockade

Ankara, 23 Ramadhan 1437/ 28 June 2016 (MINA) – Palestinian group Hamas late Monday thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his efforts to ease the Gaza blockade.

The announcement came after a planned agreement between Turkey and Israel to normalize ties after a six-year hiatus, expected to lead to an improvement in the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

“We appreciate and thank President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s and Turkish people’s support to our people in Gaza and their efforts to ease the blockade,” said Hamas.

Erdogan said Tuesday more than 10,000 tons of supplies will be sailed to Gaza from Turkey before the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday early July.

The accord, which will be formally signed Tuesday, will pave the way for the restoration of bilateral relations more than six years after Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza-bound Turkish aid fltilloa in international waters, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring another 30, one of whom succumbed to his injuries nearly four years later.

In the aftermath of the attack, Turkey demanded a formal apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed, and the lifting of Israel’s Gaza blockade.

In 2013, Netanyahu voiced his regret for the attack.

On Monday, months of talks between the two countries finally bore fruit, with Turkey announcing that a deal would be signed the following day to normalize relations with Israel.

According to the deal, Israel will pay a total of $20 million in compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims.(T/hna/R07)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)