'Deal with Turks does not require Gaza blockade end'

By REUTERS
March 24, 2013 10:53

 
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Israel did not commit to ending its Gaza blockade as part of reconciliation with Turkey and could clamp down even harder on the Palestinian enclave if security is threatened, a senior Israeli official said on Sunday.

After Friday's US-brokered fence-mending announcement, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Israel had met his demands it apologize for killing nine Turks aboard a Gaza-bound activist ship in 2010, pay compensation and ease the blockade.

But during the almost three-year rift between the ex-allies, Erdogan had routinely insisted that Israel end the blockade.

The rapprochement deal noted Israel's relaxing of curbs on Gaza's civilian imports in that period and pledged "to continue to work to improve" Palestinians' humanitarian situation.

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