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Turkish aid ship arrives at Israeli seaport

July 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

The Turkish aid ship carrying 11,000 tonnes of supplies for the Gaza Strip yesterday arrived at the Israeli seaport of Ashdod, the Anadolu Agency reported.

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

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

Five tonnes of flour and 2,000 tonnes of rice donated from the Turkish Grain Board are also on board, as well as sugar from the Turkish Red Crescent.

The ship set sail on Friday following a reconciliation deal reached between Turkey and Israel early last week 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 the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

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

Last week, months of talks between the two countries finally bore fruit, with Turkey announcing that a deal would be signed, normalising 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 those killed on the Mavi Marmara.