Skip to comments.Turkish Leader Says He Plans a Trip to Gaza Soon
Posted on 11/03/2012 5:08:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said on Friday that he planned to visit the Gaza Strip soon, a move that would significantly enhance the legitimacy of the Hamas-controlled Gaza government and antagonize the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the West.
Turkish newspapers reported Friday that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, would travel to Gaza -- the first visit by a representative of a NATO country.
Mr. Erdogan, who twice last year scheduled and then canceled visits to Gaza, did not offer specifics about the timing or agenda for such a visit, which he mentioned to reporters traveling with him to Ankara from Berlin, according to the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman. A Foreign Ministry official later said that the prime minister was simply expressing an "intention," and that he wanted to visit "someday."
Mr. Erdogan's comments came nine days after the emir of Qatar became the first head of state to set foot in Gaza since Hamas took over in 2007, pledging $400 million for development projects, including housing complexes, road renovation and a prosthetics hospital. The crown prince of Bahrain was scheduled to visit the Palestinian enclave on Thursday but canceled at the last minute to avoid political repercussions, according to reports in the Arab news media.
A visit by the leader of Turkey, a huge power that is a member of NATO and a critical bridge between the West and the Islamic world, would make a much bigger diplomatic splash, paving the way for Egypt and other countries to expand direct, independent relationships with Hamas and further dividing the Palestinian leadership.
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Fire erupts in Golan; apparently caused by Syria infighting
Army says shrapnel from Syria may have started blaze in Mount Hosek area; IDF outpost not damaged
Maor Buchnik contributed to the report
Published: 11.03.12, 14:38 / Israel News
A fire broke out Saturday morning near Mount Hosek in the eastern part of the Golan Heights, near the border with Syria.
Over the past 24 hours a number of mortars have been lobbed into the demilitarized zone in the Golan Heights, apparently inadvertently. The IDF’s Northern Command said a piece of shrapnel that landed in the area may have caused the brushfire.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said mortars were fired toward the region as part of the infighting between Syrian rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. It said there were no landings of rockets or mortars inside Israeli territory.
Firefighters were working to extinguish the blaze. An army position situated at the top of Mount Hosek was not damaged, and there were no reports of injury.
About a month and-a-half ago a number of mortar shells landed in agricultural fields inside Israel, near the Syrian border. There were no reports of injury or damage. The mortars were apparently fired by Syrian army forces as part of their attempt to push the rebel forces back.
Israel should not allow it.
Time to re-think Turkey’s status in NATO.