Israel and Turkey expected to finalize reconciliation deal next week

Erdogan met with Hamas head on Friday; Meeting falls during talks between Turkey and Israel on reconciliation agreement following 6 years of severed diplomatic ties

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Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan met with Hamas political head Khaled Mashaal in Istanbul on Friday, the meeting held amidst negotiations on reconciliation agreement between Turkey and Israel.

Diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey have been severed for over 6 years following the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in which a Turkish vessel attempted to illegally enter Gaza through an Israel Navy blockade. The incident resulted in the death of nine Turkish civilians and attacks on IDF soldiers during the military intervention.

According to reports from both Turkish and Israeli media, both states have been holding talks for the past several weeks to create a rapprochement agreement to be finalized this coming week.

Details of the agreement have not been confirmed to the public, but reports claim that Israel will permit Turkey increased access to providing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, including building a hospital, as well as reports of the construction of a power plant and desalination facility in the Strip. Turkey is reportedly agreed to close a Hamas command center in Istanbul and illegalize Hamas activity in Turkey.

Spokesman for Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin stated earlier this week that negotiations are “reaching the end of a lengthy process,” and that “I believe the Palestinian people will find the agreement satisfactory since we’re making progress to address the energy shortage and water crisis in Gaza.”

Israeli and Turkish negotiation teams are reportedly scheduled to meet and finalize the agreement on Sunday, Israel’s security cabinet reportedly to meet on Wednesday to finalize the agreement.