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Netanyahu lauds benefits of normalizing ties with Turkey

In the first of two potentially groundbreaking announcements, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the country has reached a deal with Israel in an effort to fix ties after six years.

Yıldırım confirmed that Israel had agreed to pay $20 million (18.14 million euros) in compensation to the families of 2010 Mavi Marmara raid victims.

"I'm sure this is an agreement that is good for both sides so I don't want to start quibbling on that but I will say this: the security naval blockade remains in place but we do enable cargo and materiel, and humanitarian material, to come from Turkey or from any other country to Israel".

Yildirim also said Turkey would work to invest in Gaza's energy and water sectors, which have collapsed after years of Israeli blockades and sporadic conflict.

Just in April a spokesman for Turkish President Erdogan said that any formal reconciliation between Turkey and Israel is impossible without the lifting of the siege on Gaza.

Ties between Ankara and Tel Aviv have been frayed since 2010 when six civilian ships in a humanitarian aid flotilla were attacked in global waters by Israeli forces. He also said Turkey aims to build a 200-bed hospital, new residential buildings, a power station, and desalination plant in Gaza. "The EU has also promised Turkey a lot, but in the end a lot of promises have not been implemented", the analyst said.

Erdoğan also said Turkey had consulted with the two main Palestinian factions during the negotiations.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - The U.N. chief on Tuesday criticized Israel's blockade of Gaza, a day after Israel and Turkey reached a broad reconciliation pact that looked to ease, but not eliminate, the isolation of the coastal strip.

Erdogan also met with Doha-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on Friday in anticipation of the agreement.

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Nine Turks, including a dual American citizen, were killed and dozens of activists were wounded, one of whom died several years later.

As the Turkish political scientist Hussain Altynalan said in an interview with our correspondent, the normalization of relations is in the interests of both states.

"The Turkish president wanted to get Ankara out of its global isolation, which was caused by his policies", the daily Jerusalem Post quoted what it described as a senior Palestinian official as saying.

"We want the rebuilding of Gaza", said a high Israeli official during Netanyahu's visit to Rome.

Turkey's worst nightmare in Syria has come true: Russian support has enabled its enemy President Bashar al-Assad to remain in power, while Kurdish militia fighters have benefited from U.S. support as they battle Islamic State, bolstering their position in territory adjacent to the Turkish border.

It has "immense implications for the Israeli economy", Netanyahu told reporters in Rome after meetings with Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Monday.

"Erdogan hopes that this deal (with Israel) will have a significant effect on his global reputation and this will play positively at home", said Aykan Erdemir, a senior fellow at the USA -based Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "This matter could not have been advanced without this agreement, and now we will take action to advance it", Netanyahu said.

Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul were killed in separate incidents during Israel's military offensive against Hamas in the summer of 2014.

There were multiple reports in Israeli media that a deal could be announced as early as Sunday, though officials were declining to speak publicly on the talks.



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