‘If Asked’, Erdogan ‘Ready’ to Mediate Between Hamas and Israel

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: File)

The Turkish president Recep Tyep Erdogan said he is “ready” to mediate between Hamas and Israel to return the bodies of Israeli soldiers held by Hamas “if both parties asked me to do so.”

Erdogan made these remarks during a TV interview with the second Israeli Hebrew Channel. He noted, “Israel has to know that is has to pay a price in return for the bodies of soldiers.”

Commenting on the situation in the Gaza Strip, he said, “The siege on Gaza has almost been lifted and Turkey will continue its efforts to help the Palestinian people.”

He also refused to compere between Israel’s use of force during the Israeli war on Gaza in 2014 and Palestinian resistance against Israel, refusing to condemn these attacks, referencing the imbalance of power between both sides.

Erdogan accused Israel of lying about what happened on Mavi Marmara, the Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship, noting that the people who were killed were victims and martyrs.

He also expressed his desire to open a new page with Israel.

The Turkish-Israeli diplomatic ties were resumed following a settlement which included paying 20 million dollars to the families of the 10 Turkish people who were killed on board of Mavi Marmara and apologizing for the killing of Turkish nationals in international waters.

However, the condition pertaining to lifting the Gaza siege was not met.

(PC, SAFA)

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