The Hamas government in Gaza has congratulated Turkey for the apology it received from Israel over the killings on the Freedom Flotilla in 2010. It is, said the Islamic Resistance Movement in a press statement, a “great achievement” that Ankara was able to impose conditions on Tel Aviv which have effectively forced Israel to concede.
Turkey’s success, said Hamas, stems from the fact that it is in a strong, self-confident position and is assured of its rights. “This confirms that the Zionist state only understands the language of power, steadfastness and adherence to fundamentals,” said a spokesman.
The Turkish government announced last week that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had apologised to Turkey in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr Erdogan has accepted the apology on behalf of the Turkish people. Nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli commandos in the raid on the Mavi Marmara in international waters almost three years ago as the activists were trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.
According to the Turkish statement, Netanyahu told Erdogan that Israel will allow goods to enter and leave the Gaza Strip “as long as the calm continues”. This, insists Hamas, means that the siege on the territory has been lifted, although the evidence for this at the crossing points is hard to find.