Israel said to refuse to condemn Istanbul suicide bombing
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Israel said to refuse to condemn Istanbul suicide bombing

Although reconciliation talks proceeding, Jerusalem reportedly won’t denounce blast that killed 10 tourists because Ankara doesn’t condemn terror attacks on Israelis

Tourists walk at the site of Tuesday's explosion in the historic Sultanahmet district in Istanbul, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Tourists walk at the site of Tuesday's explosion in the historic Sultanahmet district in Istanbul, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Despite warming ties between Jerusalem and Ankara, Israel has reportedly refused to condemn Tuesday’s suicide bombing in Istanbul because Turkey doesn’t condemn terror attacks against Israelis.

Tuesday’s blast just steps from the historic Blue Mosque was the first by Islamic State to target Turkey’s vital tourism sector, although the militants have struck with deadly effect elsewhere in the country. Officials initially said eight Germans were killed in the bombing, but upped the number to 10 Wednesday.

Israel has yet to make any official condemnation of the attack.. The decision by unspecified government officials not to condemn the IS attack in the heart of historic Istanbul was made contrary to the recommendation of Foreign Ministry advisers, Channel 2 reported. The Prime Minister’s Office, however, said it wasn’t aware of such a disagreement and that Israel condemns all acts of terrorism.

Israel and Turkey have engaged in secret meetings in a bid to mend fences after bilateral relations deteriorated after an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip in late 2008 and early 2009 and an IDF raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza a year later that killed 10 Turkish nationals.

Earlier this month President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey must accept that it needs Israel as the two countries seek to thrash out a deal on normalizing ties.

“Israel is in need of a country like Turkey in the region,” Erdogan said in remarks to Turkish reporters published in leading dailies. “And we too must accept that we need Israel. This is a reality in the region. If mutual steps are implemented based on sincerity, then normalization will follow.”

But despite the steps toward rapprochement, a senior Turkish official told Channel 2 that reconciliation with Israel is still in the works because Turkey’s demand for compensation for the victims of the Mavi Marmara raid and the easing of the blockade on Gaza have yet to be met.

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