Israel to allow materials into Gaza for Turkish hospital

JERUSALEM Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:47am EDT

Moshe Yaalon attends a Likud-Beiteinu party meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem March 14, 2013. REUTERS/Nir Elias

Moshe Yaalon attends a Likud-Beiteinu party meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem March 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Thursday it will allow into the Gaza Strip construction materials and electric equipment to help build a Turkish-sponsored hospital, in a possible sign of improving ties with Ankara.

The decision came as Israel and Turkey try to hammer out the details of a U.S.-backed reconciliation announced a year ago. Relations between the once-close allies ruptured in 2010 over a deadly Israeli naval raid on a Turkish Gaza-bound flotilla.

Gaza, ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, lacks much basic civil infrastructure and lives under an Egyptian-Israeli blockade meant to cut off arms flows but which also curbs imports of fuel and building supplies.

Turkey began constructing the hospital in 2011 using materials smuggled into the territory through tunnels and this is first time Israel has let any in for the project.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon approved the request from Turkey, his ministry said in a statement, and an Israeli official, who asked not to be named, said the reconciliation efforts played a part in his decision.

Once completed, the hospital will be jointly run by Palestinian and Turkish doctors.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mugrabi and Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (6)
TBellchambers wrote:
This land and maritime blockade on the coastal strip in 2006, under which Gaza vessels are not allowed to enter waters more than six nautical miles from the shore is illegal, illegitimate and a status quo that should make the 28 member nation states of the European Union squirm in embarrassment as 1.7 million Palestinians are deliberately kept on the edge of poverty by the Netanyahu government in an illegal attempt at regime change in Gaza to suit their political aim of a ‘Greater Israel’.

History will record the acceptance of this 7 year blockade of a 1.7 million civilian people as a cowardly appeasement of the demands of the Israel lobby in Washington that seeks to further the aims of the Political Zionism movement through the US Congress. It should make all MEPs hang their heads in shame at their willingness to allow 500 million Europeans to be intimidated by a tiny state on the Eastern Mediterranean.

Mar 27, 2014 10:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Hatsin wrote:
Its good Turkey is taking responsibility in Gaza. God knows no one inside Gaza is.

Mar 27, 2014 10:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TruthFair wrote:
TBellchambers

You have words diarrhea and thoughts constipation…. Your comment really stupid. Gaza under islamofacist regime. Distraction of Israel only democracy and our ally on M. East their goal.
Sooo sht’a fk up….

Mar 27, 2014 10:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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