It has been hailed it a “diplomatic victory,” but Palestinians have expressed anger and frustration at a deal to normalize relations between Israel and Turkey, while leaving Gazans under Israeli siege.
Turkey and Israel announced the deal following talks in Rome on Monday. It follows six years of military and political stalemate between the two countries, after Israeli forces raided a Turkish flotilla to Gaza in 2010, killing ten Turkish activists.
Previous reconciliation efforts have been based on Turkey’s insistance that Israel lifts the blockade on the Gaza Strip. However, this appears to have been sidelined, overshadowed by the prospect of lucrative Mediterranean gas deals and mutual fears over growing security risks.
Israeli human rights groups have confirmed that the normalization deal does not end Israel’s tight control over the territory, and it was made clear that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza would not be lifted. The seige, which has devastated Gaza’s economy and society, will remain.
In what many deem as a hollow gesture, Israel will allow Turkey to increase its “humanitarian” role and infrastructure projects in the besieged territory.
In response, a number of Palestinians in Gaza and across the world have taken to social media, expressing their dismay at the deal and Israel's shallow concessions.
A courageous thing Turkey should do is admit they failed to lift Gaza siege. Anything else is propaganda.#İsraileDizÇöktürenERDOĞAN— Refaatesque- Gaza (@ThisIsGaZa) June 27, 2016
A delirious claim by Turkey- "blocked is lifted" #Gaza— Dima S. ديمة (@YasminWaQahwa) June 27, 2016