Turkish Ship With Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Strip Docks in Israeli Port

Families of fallen and missing Israelis vow to block transfer of aid to Gaza in protest at the failure of the Israel-Turkey agreement to deal with the return of their sons.

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A picture taken on July 1, 2016 shows the Panama flagged ship Lady Leyla setting off from the southern Turkish port of Mersin bound for Ashdod.
A picture taken on July 1, 2016 shows the Panama flagged ship Lady Leyla setting off from the southern Turkish port of Mersin bound for Ashdod.Credit: Huseyin Kar, AFP
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

A Turkish cargo ship bearing 10,000 tons of humanitarian equipment and food destined for the Gaza Strip docked in the southern Israeli port city of Ashdod on Sunday afternoon in accordance with the recent reconciliation agreement signed between Israel and Turkey.

Israel and Turkey last week agreed to normalize relations after six years of diplomatic standoff between the two states. In terms of the agreement, Turkey is able to send aid to Gaza via Israel.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced last Monday that the ship would set sail on Friday, carrying 20,000 tons of aid. Yildirim also said that the agreement with Israel reflects Turkey's role as protector of oppressed peoples in the Middle East.

Herzl, Oron Shaul's father, at the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza, July 3, 2016.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The family of Oron Shaul, an Israeli soldier whose body is being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, arrived at the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Sunday morning, planning to block the transfer of the ship's cargo to Gaza.

The family, along with the families of other Israelis missing in Gaza and families of soldiers who died in 2014's Operation Protective Edge, opposed the agreement with Turkey because it did not include the return of missing Israelis.

"My son has been here, just over this fence, for two years already," said Zehava Shaul, Oron's mother. "Two years in which we didn't open our mouths and sat in silence."

She criticized the Israeli government for allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza but neglecting the humanitarian problem of returning the missing to their families.

"We aren't opposed to this agreement," Herzl Shaul, Oron's father. "But it is a terrible deal for the families. Our boys are not mentioned in it. This is a prize to Hamas and a loss for Israel. The prime minister got two years of silence with countless promises that he would see to it that the boys would be returned home."

The issue of the missing soldier's bodies was not part of the final agreement between Turkey and Israel, though Turkey issued a separate "letter of goodwill" in which it promised to work with Hamas for the release of the missing Israelis.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott