PM calls Erdogan to offer condolences and help

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan onMonday to offer his condolences for a powerful earthquake thatkilled at least 279 people in eastern Turkey, Erdogan's officesaid.

In the phone call, Netanyahu said the Jewish state was readyto assist Turkey, a statement from Erdogan's office said. Netanyahu's office had no immediate comment.

Ties between the two Middle Eastern countries have beenstrained since Israeli commandos last year raided a Turkish flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip, killing nine pro-PalestinianTurkish activists.
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