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Israel warns of "diplomatic mistake" if Turkey's Erdogan visits Gaza

February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

A senior Israeli official has warned that it would be a “diplomatic mistake” for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit the Gaza Strip. Reports in the Jerusalem Post quoted an Israeli official who said that Erdogan would damage Turkey’s relations with the United States by visiting Gaza. Mr. Erdogan is due to visit Cairo and has hinted that he may go to Gaza straight from Egypt.

According to the media reports, a visit by the Prime Minister to Gaza, and meetings with officials from Ismail Haniyeh’s cabinet in Gaza “would also weaken Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. A trip to Hamas-controlled Gaza would, it is assumed, pose a threat to Mr. Abbas’s legitimacy as the representative of the Palestinians.

Since Ankara cut its diplomatic and military relations with Israel, there has been media speculation about Mr Erdogan’s intention to make an official visit to the Gaza Strip, although the visit has not been confirmed officially.