KIBLAT.NET – Israel and Turkey agreed to resume diplomatic relations, ending a bitter, six-year rift between the once-close regional allies.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced Monday that the deal including a $20 million compensation fund for Turkish families, an eventual return of ambassadors and initial talks on a possible natural gas pipeline.
Under the deal, Turkey will end all criminal or civil claims against Israeli military personnel and the State of Israel following the 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla that left nine people dead.
Palestinian Group Hamas late on Monday night thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his efforts to ease the Gaza blockade. The group said in an emailed official statement in a comment to an agreement reached between Turkey and Israel that Hamas appreciates the Turkish efforts “to help our people in Gaza and to relax the Israeli siege.”
From the beginning, many analysts and Israeli medias have explained the weaker of Israel’s fervency in the Middle East. Israel’s effort closed to Turkey can be seen as stabilizing the rank in geopolitical and economy in the middle east. In Rome, Netanyahu described the agreement as having “strategic importance for the state of Israel, for security, for regional stability and for the Israeli economy.”
Aluf Benn, Editor in Chief of Hareetz.com, had analyzed the impact of Israel’s loss of its alliances with Turkey in the Middle East geopolitics. It was compounded by apprehension about a deteriorating security situation in the south. Because of it, Israel had moved closer to Asad, Syrian President.
For the past three years, Netanyahu was Assad’s silent ally. With the Syrian regime becoming destabilized, its borders breached and the struggle for its future rupturing the region, Israel had the back of the tyrant from Damascus.
Israeli’s stand cooperating with Russia and Syria in military and defense showed the weakness of Israel power and viewed as an attempt to maintain its existence.
Regarding the normalization, the question is, would Israel carry out the Turkey’s demands? Firstly, Gaza embargo to be largely lifted. Second, Israel to pay compensation 20 million USD to Mavi Marmara families flotilla raid victims. Third, the Turkish ship carrying 10.000 tons of aid will move toward Israeli port of Ashdod on Friday.
Turkey’s three demands are so demanding to do Israel. The Requirement to lift Israel’s blockade of Gaza is grueling. It can be seen from Netanyahu’s state who repelled the Turkish ships to get directly to Gaza, but must go through Port of Ashdod. Netanyahu stressed Tel Aviv will remain on the blockade of maritime defense.
To pay compensation to the Mavi Marmara families is also tantamount Israel’s recognition as a human rights criminals. Meanwhile, for Israel, allowing aid for Gaza residents can give strength to the struggle of the Gaza people. Moreover, Israel firmly urges Erdogan to limit the role of Hamas in Turkey, while the relationship between Hamas and Turkey are in peak.
Even in a speech to the United Nations general assembly, Netanyahu equated Hamas and ISIS. An accusation indicating Israel’s stand will never receive Hamas.
The Future of Agreement
The normalization effort will be a real challenge for Turkey political to show its consistency in supporting of the Palestinian struggle. Erdogan is the key. The meeting with Hamas a few days ago definitely had talked about it.
For Israel, the question is, how does consistency of Israel holding the deal. As we know, Israel and Turkey have a long history of arduous diplomatic endeavors behind them, above all the Israeli file.
Besides, Israel’s operation in Gaza might ruin any improvement in relations about the deal. That’s why, Karel Valansi, a Turkish Middle East expert who writes for the Jewish-Turkish medias, said any agreement between the two countries would be like walking on eggshells, with the chance of falling apart at any moment. It will be warning for Turkey.
With all the political consequences, it is possible Jerusalem Post’s prediction becomes true describing the Israel-Turkey normalization such as: to stop fighting publicly, while quietly continuing to disagree on virtually everything.
*Muhammad Pizaro, is an international politics observer from Institute of Zionist Studies . He graduated from the State Islamic University of Jakarta.