Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship arrives in Ashdod
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Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship arrives in Ashdod

Second delivery since Israel-Turkey reconciliation brings 120 containers for Hamas-run enclave

A picture taken on July 1, 2016 shows the Panama flagged ship Lady Leyla setting off from the southern port of Mersin. (AFP PHOTO / IHLAS NEWS AGENCY / HUSEYIN KAR)
A picture taken on July 1, 2016 shows the Panama flagged ship Lady Leyla setting off from the southern port of Mersin. (AFP PHOTO / IHLAS NEWS AGENCY / HUSEYIN KAR)

Some 120 containers of food and equipment arrived at Israel’s Ashdod port from Turkey on Sunday prior to entering the Gaza Strip, the second such shipment since a detente deal between Jerusalem and Ankara.

The containers will bring basic items such as rice, sugar, flour, clothing, school equipment, bicycles and children’s toys to the Strip, according to Channel 10 news.

The aid shipment was part of an agreement between Israel and Turkey to reconcile earlier this year after a six-year rift.

Relations between the former allies imploded in 2010 following an Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid ship trying to breach Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The raid left 10 Turks dead and several IDF soldiers wounded.

The first shipment, in July, brought 10,000 tons of aid, including toys, diapers, clothes and food, into the enclave. Trucks entered Gaza after security vetting in Israel.

“We want all the products bound for Gaza to get to the needy and not for terror organizations to get hold of them and use them to buy weapons with which to fight against us, ” Israeli lawmaker Ayoub Kara said on receiving the ship and its 15-strong crew on Sunday. The Turks reportedly promised that the goods would reach the right people.

Israel says the blockade of Gaza, imposed since 2007, is vital to preventing Hamas, which openly seeks to destroy the Jewish state, from importing weapons. Critics call it collective punishment.

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