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Bibi: Turkey Deal a Strategic Interest for Israel

PM Netanyahu in Rome, Speaking on Turkey Deal, June 27, 2016 (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Today Israel announed a reconciliation deal with its one-time ally, Turkey. Arutz Sheva reports that while the agreement faced opposition within Israel, PM Netanyahu said that it was important for the Jewish state:

Speaking in Hebrew from Rome, Netanyahu repeatedly emphasized that - while he did not view the situation through "rose-tinted glasses" - such a deal was of critical "strategic importance to the State of Israel."

In particular, Netanyahu noted, paving the way to exporting natural gas to Turkey would provide an enormous boon to the Israeli economy - to an extent which shouldn't be understated, he insisted.

But he also highlighted several other concessions which Israel had garnered from Turkey. 

Under the agreement, Ankara had pledged to "prevent any terrorist or military activity from Turkey soil against Israel" - including fundraising for anti-Israel terrorism. Such a pledge is particularly significant given the use of Turkey by Hamas's leadership as a hub for planning and coordinating terrorist attacks.

Netanyahu also addressed the parents of missing Israelis, both dead and alive, who are still held by Hamas.

Israel had received a letter from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which the Turkish leader pledged to work for the release of the Israeli captives and bodies as a humanitarian service.

Turning to the families, Netanyahu assured them that Israel hadn't abandoned their loved ones. "We won't stop until we return them home."

Tags: Netanyahu

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