Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza docks at Israeli port

Published July 3rd, 2016 - 03:00 GMT
A picture taken on July 1, 2016 shows the Panama-flagged ship Lady Leyla setting off from the southern Turkish port of Mersin for the Gaza Strip. (AFP/Huseyin Kar)
A picture taken on July 1, 2016 shows the Panama-flagged ship Lady Leyla setting off from the southern Turkish port of Mersin for the Gaza Strip. (AFP/Huseyin Kar)

A Turkish aid ship carrying 11,000 tons of supplies for the Gaza Strip arrived at Israel's Ashdod port on Sunday.

Turkish diplomats and Israeli Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson Oren Rozenblat were present at the port as the Panama-flagged Lady Leyla docked.

The ship carries 10,000 toys and 10,000 packages of food and aid for children in Gaza.

Five tons of flour and 2,000 tons of rice aid from the Turkish Grain Board, as well as sugar aid from the Turkish Red Crescent, will also be delivered.

The ship set sail on Friday following a reconciliation deal reached between Turkey and Israel on Monday after a six-year hiatus.

Diplomatic ties between the two countries were suspended after Israeli troops stormed the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid ship in international waters in 2010, killing 10 Turkish activists.

In the aftermath of the attack, Turkey demanded a formal apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed, and the lifting of Israel's Gaza blockade.

In 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced regret for the attack.

On Monday, months of talks between the two countries finally bore fruit, with Turkey announcing that a deal would be signed, normalizing relations with Israel.

Under the deal, in addition to agreeing to Turkey's humanitarian presence in Gaza, Israel will pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims.

By Halil Ibrahim Baeer and Enes Kanli


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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