Trucks of Turkish aid have begun arriving in the Gaza Strip via Israel as part of a reconciliation accord reached between Israel and Turkey last month.
The shipment consists of 10,000 tons of aid, including toys, diapers, clothes and food. The first trucks entered Gaza on Monday after security vetting in Israel, with more planned in the coming days.
Israel and Turkey reconciled after a years-long rift exacerbated by a 2010 Israeli raid on a Turkish ship trying to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamic terrorist group Hamas.
Israel says the blockade is vital to preventing Hamas, which openly seeks to destroy the Jewish state, from importing weapons. Critics call it collective punishment.
The delivery comes ahead of Wednesday’s Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that he consulted with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas before moving forward with the reconciliation deal with Israel, signed last week.
Speaking at a dinner in Istanbul, Erdogan said Turkey’s “main concern” when negotiating with Israel to end over the years of tense relations was welfare of “Gazans and we made our consultations with [Hamas political bureau chief] Khaled Mashaal, [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbbas and [Hamas leader in Gaza] Ismail Haniyeh while making the deal with Israel.”
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report