Prime Minister Netanyahu apologizes to Turkey
With American intercession, Turkey and Israel agreed finally to restore diplomatic ties after three years of political feuding.
Reports say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan through a phone call, for the deaths of nine Turkish activists at the hands of Israeli forces during a tragic raid of the Mavi Marmara in 2010. Israel agreed to pay for the compensation of the victim’s family as well.
Prime Minister Erdogan reportedly agreed to normalize relations between the two countries.
US hails the reconciliation between Israel and Turkey
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry says the reconciliation between Israel and Turkey is a very important development that will help advance the cause of peace and stability in the region.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister Erdogan deserve great credit for showing the leadership necessary to make this possible.” – Secretary Kerry
Secretary Kerry says the first move of Israel will help Israelis meet the many challenges it faces in the region.
The US is looking forward to an expeditious implementation of the agreement and the full normalization of relations so Israel and Turkey can work together to advance their common interests.
Tragic Raid on aid flotilla derails Turkey and Israel relations
In May 2010, the Israeli commando raided an aid flotilla, resulting to the death of nine Turkish activists and has derailed relations between Israel and Turkey.
Turkey, a NATO member, has long been Israel’s closest friend in the Muslim world.
Both countries had strong ties between the countries’ militaries and governments prior to the tragic raid.
However, relations was strained during Israel’s war in Gaza.
The Gaza-bound aid flotilla was sponsored in part by a Turkish organization. Due to the tragic raid, Turkey recalled its ambassador from Israel and Israel’s ambassador in Ankara.
Since then, both countries cancelled planned joint military exercises and diplomatic activities.
Israel and Turkey are both US allies
Clinton: US’ Commitment to Israel’s Security is Rock Solid
As war raged between Israel and Palestine in 2012, the United States of America has underlined its commitment to Israel’s security.
In her remarks with her meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says US commitment to Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.
US said rocket attacks from terrorist organizations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored.
The goal must be a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security and legitimate aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians alike.
US and Turkey Collaborate on Syrian Crisis
Reaffirming a strong alliance with Turkey, US Secretary John Kerry has said the United States has the same goal as Turkey from the very beginning when it comes to finding solution to end the bloodshed in Syria
In his remarks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu after their meeting in Ankara in Turkey, Secretary Kerry says both countries have actually both undertaken different steps, some of them in concert together and some of them individually, in order to address the Syrian situation.
Both countries would like to save lives, not see them caught up in a continued war.
And in that effort, both countries worked together, not just Turkey and the United States, but a whole group of countries, all of whom have been doing different things according to their laws and according to their abilities.
Israeli Blockade in Gaza Makes Life Harder for Millions of Palestinians
With severe restrictions on imports, exports and the movement of people, by land, air and sea due to Israeli blockade in Gaza, 1.6 million Palestinians living in the area are experiencing its devastating impact on their lives and livelihoods.
Reports say more than 80 per cent of families in Gaza are dependent on humanitarian aid.
As the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip now entering its seventh, the UN has called for its immediate lifting.
The blockade amounts to a collective punishment of all those living in Gaza and is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law.
Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza for what it called security reasons after the Hamas group, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement in the Strip in 2007.
In July 2011, the United Nations and its diplomatic partners in the search for peace in the Middle East voiced concern about the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The Middle East Quartet, which comprises the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States, issued a statement in which the four members said the conditions faced by Gaza’s civilian population – estimated at around 1.5 million – were “unsustainable.”
Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza for what it said were security reasons after Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement in the Strip in 2007.
Quartet members also urged Israel to fully implement its decision in June 2010 to ease the blockade and to take “further meaningful steps to improve the situation in Gaza.”
UN has said effects of the war still persist in West Bank and Gaza and the humanitarian needs of the women, men and children of Gaza remain widespread and acute.
In 2009, Israel waged a fierce three-week military campaign in Gaza to stop rockets from being fired on its southern communities. Israel engaged a devastating air and ground campaign that left as many as 1,400 Palestinians dead by the time a cease-fire was unilaterally declared by both sides. Much of the region’s civil infrastructure and many homes were left in ruins during the three-week offensive that ended in January 2009. Thirteen Israelis were also killed.
“Lifestyle” diseases are taking an increasing toll among the Palestinians because of poverty, unemployment and budget limitations.
Sanitation and clean water services were also maintained in 2010, “notwithstanding difficulties faced in particular due to the closure regime and conflict in the occupied territories.”
The per-person budget has been roughly the same since 2008. The refugee population increased from 4.8 million in 2009 to 5 million in 2010. Almost 2 million live in the occupied Palestinian territories in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank. The remainder are spread among Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
To address the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians, the United Nations has launched an emergency appeal for Gaza and the West Bank worth just over 300 million US dollars.
UNRWA is the only UN agency directly providing essential services in education, health, microfinance and social safety-net support to Palestinian refugees.