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Alex Wright

Comprehensive Israel-Hamas agreement 'expected', says Turkish official

Meshaal met with Davutoglu in Ankara last week [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 August, 2015

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Adviser to Turkey's Prime Minister, Yasin Aktay, has told a Gaza-based newspaper that he is expecting a "comprehensive agreement" between Hamas and Israel and that Turkish-Israeli relations will likely resume.

A long-term deal between Hamas and Israel will likely happen soon, a Turkish government advisor has said, following recent statements made by a prominent Hamas leader that there will soon be an announcement regarding a truce.

Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, told the Gaza-based newspaper al-Risala the possible agreement would solve the many of the resounding issues between Israel and Hamas.

“This agreement will solve the issues of the blockade, opening the border crossings and the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas,” Aktay said.

    

This agreement will solve the issues of the blockade, opening the border crossings and the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas

- Yasin Aktay


“The negotiations surrounding Mavi Marmara flotilla are proceeding gradually and also include negotiations on a ceasefire with Hamas,” he said, adding that “the Gaza blockade is a Turkish matter”.

Aktay’s interview has come after a Hamas delegation led by Khaled Meshaal, head of the organisation’s political bureau, visit to Turkey last week. One of the issues discussed was Turkey’s relationship with Israel.

The advisor said negotiations with Israel over compensation for Israel’s 2010 raid on the Turkish-sponsored flotilla to Gaza, Mavi Marmara, in which 10 Turkish nationals were killed have made great progress and will likely be resolved soon.

Aktay said, “In the past whenever we progressed in the negotiations surrounding the Mavi Marmara flotilla Israel would attack Gaza, bringing us back to square one. Restoring relations between Turkey and Israel depends on Israel taking into consideration the suffering of Gazans and the extent of its positive progress in this regard.”

He added that talks were going on between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece on setting up a port in the Gaza Strip and creating a naval “safe passage” between Gaza and Northern Cyprus that would be controlled by Turkey, which also be responsible for conducting security checks of the ships.

Last week, Ahmed Youssef, a former political adviser to Ismail Haniyah, prime minister of the Gaza Strip, gave an interview on al-Ghad TV and said that truce negotiations between Hamas and Israel have come a long way and that there would soon be an announcement.

He did not specify any possible truce conditions, but said that the priority was the lifting of Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip, opening the crossings to facilitate the movement of travellers, and the establishment of a sea port.

"Israel wants security in the Gaza strip," Youssef said.

On Monday, Egyptian authorities announed they will open the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip for four days as a high-level Hamas delegation is supposed to head for Egypt on Tuesday to discuss rehabilitating the organization’s relationship with Cairo.

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