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Israel asks Erdogan to mediate with Hamas over soldiers' bodies

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin has asked his Turkish counterpart to mediate with Hamas over the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers in Gaza, it was reported on Monday.

According to Haaretz, Rivlin asked Recep Tayyip Erdogan to help get the bodies of Oren Shaul and Hadar Golden, whom Israel believes were killed during the military offensive against Gaza in 2014. In an Israeli TV interview last week, Erdogan said that he is ready to mediate "if both parties ask me to do so."

Anadolu reported that Erdogan in turn asked Rivlin about the Israeli plan to ban the Muslim call to prayer and asked him to reconsider this move. The Israeli president is said to have told Erdogan that Israel protects freedom of expression and faith for all the followers of all religions, including Muslims, Christians and Jews.

During their conversation, the recent exchange of ambassadors was mentioned. "The normalisation of relations between Turkey and Israel is of utmost importance for the whole region," claimed the Turkish leader. He reiterated that they "can keep working together in the domain of natural gas and the conversations between our energy ministries will bear fruit."

Europe & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineTurkey
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