New shipment of Turkish aid arrives in Gaza

Some 154 trucks loaded with Turkish humanitarian aid have arrived in the Gaza Strip since July 3

New shipment of Turkish aid arrives in Gaza

World Bulletin / News Desk

Around 25 trucks carrying Turkish humanitarian aid entered the blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday.

The aid, consisting of flour, sugar and rice, was allowed into the Palestinian territory via Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing and will be stored in warehouses run by Gaza’s Social Affairs Ministry before being distributed to the strip’s neediest residents, Mounir Ghalban said.

Ministry undersecretary Youssef Ibrahim said 154 trucks loaded with Turkish humanitarian aid have arrived in the Gaza Strip since July 3.

“The aid will be distributed to poor and needy families as of Tuesday,” he said.

On July 3, the Turkish aid ship "Lady Leyla" docked in Israel’s port of Ashdod carrying 11,000 tons of humanitarian aid -- including food, clothing and toys -- destined for Gaza.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has groaned under a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has deprived the enclave’s roughly 1.9 million inhabitants of their most basic needs, especially food, fuel, medicine and construction supplies.

The latest influx of Turkish aid into Gaza comes within the context of a deal signed between Turkey and Israel in which the two agreed to restore diplomatic relations following a six-year hiatus.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that Tel Aviv had met all of Ankara’s preconditions for normalizing ties, which were severed in 2010 after Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza-bound Turkish aid vessel. 

The attack resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists and left another 30 injured, one of whom succumbed to his injuries nearly four years later.

At the time, Turkey had demanded that Israel officially apologize for the attack, compensate the families of those killed, and lift its longstanding blockade of the Gaza Strip. 

In 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his regret to Turkey’s then-prime minister (now president) Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the incident. 

Under the terms of last week’s agreement to normalize relations, the two countries will exchange ambassadors and Israel will pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the 2010 flotilla attack victims. 

Israel has also agreed to Turkey’s request to maintain a "humanitarian presence" in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Temmuz 2016, 17:52