ROME (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza will remain in force after a deal normalizing Israel’s political and diplomatic ties with Turkey.
At a news conference in Rome, Netanyahu said the agreement announced with Ankara, ending a six-year rift after a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish ship challenging the blockade, preserves “the defensive maritime blockade” of the Hamas-run enclave. But he said humanitarian aid could continue to reach Gaza through Israeli ports.
“This is a supreme security interest of ours. I was not willing to compromise on it. This interest is essential to prevent the force-buildup by Hamas and it remains as has been and is,” Netanyahu said.
Reporting by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller