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September 3, 2022 9:39 am

Turkish Warship Docks in Israel, First Time in Over a Decade

avatar by i24 News

Ships wait in line by Haifa bay in the Mediterranean sea, in Israel May 9, 2022. Picture taken May 9, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Ari Rabinovitch

i24 News For the first time in over a decade, a Turkish warship docked in an Israeli port on Saturday, a sign of both the rapprochement between the two countries and Israel’s close alliance with NATO.

Turkish destroyer F-247 TCG Kemalreis, which sailed into the Haifa port along with the US Navy ship USS Forrest Sherman, is part of a NATO drill. The Jewish state fully cooperates with and supports NATO, an Israeli army spokesperson said.

It will remain docked at the port for a few days, during which it will refuel and “demonstrate presence,” the spokesperson said, adding that the vessel is not expected to take part in any additional exercises.

Turkey, a member of NATO since 1952, is part of the international effort to supply arms and aid to Ukraine and help it fight off a brutal Russian invasion.

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Israel and Turkey, two regional powerhouses, expelled ambassadors in 2018 over clashes at the Gaza border that resulted in the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests against the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Yet, the work by Jerusalem and Ankara to mend long-strained ties appears to have borne fruit, with security and energy emerging as key areas for cooperation.

A visit to Turkey by Israeli President Isaac Herzog in March, followed by visits by both foreign ministers, helped warm relations.

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