Turkish official: Israel agreed to a Gaza seaport

Mohammed Al-Ghoul, one of the leaders of Turkey's ruling AKP party, said Sunday that Israel has agreed in rapprochement talks to its demand of removing the naval blockade from the Hamas terror enclave of Gaza, and likewise agreed to a Gazan seaport.

The claim comes despite the fact that Israel has earnestly and repeatedly rejected Turkey's demand to end the maritime blockade, which is legal under international law, due to the blatant threat of Gazan terrorists smuggling in weapons.

Al-Ghoul spoke with the Hamas paper Palestine on Sunday, claiming that Israel has in essence accepted the three conditions placed by Turkey on normalization.

Aside from lifting the naval blockade, one of the other two conditions listed by him consisted of an apology for the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident which led to the breakdown in ties; Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the apology under US pressure.

The second condition was compensation to the families of the ten Turkish Islamist radicals who died attacking IDF commandos forced to board the Mavi Marmara when it refused orders to stop breaching the blockade. The Islamists attacked the soldiers with knives and metal bars, wounding them and forcing them to open fire with live ammunition.

According to Al-Ghoul Israel has agreed to pay $20 million in compensation.

The Turkish official said that the two sides are very close to sealing a normalization deal, according to which Israel will gradually remove the blockade with Turkish aid, and afterwards a seaport will be established for Gaza and permission will be given to ship in goods from Turkey to Gaza without import taxes.

Aside from lifting the blockade Netanyahu and other leading officials have also vigorously opposed building a seaport given the ease with which Hamas would be able to smuggle in weapons. 

However, just last Friday Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) reiterated his calls to establish a seaport for Gaza.

Israel also agreed to have a Turkish ship dock and serve as a mobile power station for Gaza, according to Al-Ghoul.

The AKP official did not address the Israeli demands in the talks, which among other things include having Turkey take action against the Hamas terror headquarters in Istanbul, which continues to function and plan terror attacks inside Israel.

Senior sources in the Israeli security establishment recently accused Ankara of playing a "double game," and "using" Israel so as to pressure Russia into being less belligerent as the two countries are in the midst of a tense standoff.

Diplomatic officials also told Arutz Sheva that no progress was made in the last meeting earlier this month, making Al-Ghoul's claims slightly suspect.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/210998

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