Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: the MCO airport
Turkey/Israel rift won't stop military deal with each other
By AMY TEIBEL , Associated Press
Last update: June 1, 2010 - 12:40 PM
JERUSALEM - Pro-Palestinian activists sent another boat to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and Egypt declared it was temporarily opening a crossing into the Palestinian territory after a raid on an aid flotilla that ended with Israeli soldiers killing nine activists.
The raid provoked ferocious international condemnation of Israel, raised questions at home, and appeared likely to increase pressure to end its blockade that seeks to keep Iranian-backed Hamas from building its arsenal of weapons but has also deepened the poverty of the 1.5 million Palestinians in the strip.
Turkey, which unofficially supported the flotilla, has led the criticism, calling the Israeli raid a "bloody massacre" and demanding that Washington condemn the raid. The White House has reacted cautiously, calling for disclosure of all the facts.
There were signs, however, that the long-term strategic partnership between Israel and its most important Muslim ally would endure: Turkey canceled three joint land and sea exercises, but appeared to be otherwise maintaining deep military ties that include the planned delivery of $183 million in Israeli drones this summer.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke to his Turkish counterpart as well as their chief of staff Monday, and they agreed that the raid wouldn't affect weapons deals, defense officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing sensitive military ties.