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February 11, 2013 7:24 pm

Israel Allows Turkish Aid Trucks Into Gaza As Gesture of Goodwill

avatar by Zach Pontz

November 20, 2010: Trucks waiting at Kerem Shalom crossing. Photo: IDF Spokesperson.

Israel has allowed the passage of Turkish trucks carrying materials for the construction of the Turkish-Palestine Friendship Hospital into Gaza, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported.

With 150 beds the hospital will be the biggest one in Gaza once completed. Permission for passage came as part of Israel’s decision to soften its embargo against Gaza, aimed at preventing the flow of arms to terror groups, after November’s military operation in the coastal enclave.

Authorization came Feb. 4 following a nearly two-month long study of a list provided by Turkey on materials to be transported into Gaza, Hurriyet reported. The Israeli government described the move as a gesture of goodwill made toward Turkey, however, Turkish officials view it as a humanitarian move and claim it should not be considered a political gesture. But diplomatic sources said Israel’s new government could start a new process of reconciliation and that this decision could play a part in the process.

“Although I do not want to seem too optimistic over reconciliation between the two countries, I see a window of opportunity in light of the election results,” diplomatic sources told  Hurriyet.

The hospital’s inauguration is expected to bring Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Gaza Strip within the year.

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