World Bulletin / News Desk
An independent Palestinian lawmaker on Monday hailed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for linking the return of normal diplomatic relations between his country and Israel to the lifting of Israel's siege on the Gaza Strip.
In a Monday statement following a meeting with Turkish ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Mustafa Sarnic, Jamal al-Khoudari, who is also a member of the board of the Islamic University in Gaza, said he asked the diplomat to convey his gratitude to the Turkish premier.
Al-Khoudari said he updated the Turkish diplomat about the tough economic and living conditions of the almost two million people living in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli blockade, which has been in force since 2006.
Al-Khoudari added that he also briefed the Turkish ambassador about the closure of border crossings into the strip, which makes it difficult for Gazans to get construction materials and other basic needs.
Poverty and unemployment have reached a staggering 39 percent in Gaza, according to Gaza Economy Ministry figures.
In February, Erdogan said his country would not mend its political ties with Israel before the self-proclaimed Jewish state lifted its blockade on Gaza.
Relations between Turkey and Israel soured in 2010 when Israel killed nine Turkish citizens on board a flotilla heading to Gaza in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade.Last Mod: 11 Mart 2014, 09:28