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Netanyahu: Israel-Turkey Deal to Have Immense Implications for Israeli Economy

In call with Netanyahu, Biden hails Israeli-Turkish deal for its 'security, economic benefits.' Meanwhile, Erdogan speaks with Abbas, says agreement will improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza.
ROME - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the beginning of his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome that the reconciliation deal between Israel and Turkey will have "immense implications for the Israeli economy."
Netanyahu also thanked U.S. Vice President Biden for his assistance in the negotiations to reach the agreement, but did not mention U.S. President Barak Obama, during whose March 2013 visit to Israel Netanyahu and Erdogan spoke on the phone, during which time the prime minister apologized for the death of Turkish citizens in the takeover of the Gaza flotilla.
Netanyahu added that the reconciliation agreement is an "important step" in normalizing ties between Israel and Turkey. Kerry for his part said that the U.S. welcomes the agreement, saying it is "a positive step" and expressing hope that additional ones will follow.
Earlier, Netanyahu briefed Biden on the reconciliation agreement. Biden, who had in recent months prodded the sides to reach a deal, praised the agreement and told Netanyahu it holds "significant positive security and economic benefits for both countries and the wider Eastern Mediterranean region," a statement from the White House said.
Biden had intensified his involvement in the talks with Turkey since January when he visited Ankara and met with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Biden had met with Netanyahu beforehand at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The U.S. leader saw reconciliation efforts as facilitating the development of natural gas reserves in the Middle East.
Turkey was one of the main issues Biden discussed with Netanyahu during a March visit to Israel. At that time he told Netanyahu that Erdogan is interested in normalizing ties with Israel as soon as possible. At the meeting, Biden offered to help relay messages to Erdogan to help the sides overcome remaining differences.
Meanwhile, Erdogan telephoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas overnight Sunday to update him about the agreement.
Senior Turkish officials said Erdogan told Abbas the agreement would improve humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip. The officials said that Abbas as well as senior Hamas officials welcomed the deal.
The officials said that "the agreement represents a diplomatic victory for Turkey, which assumed a principled and determined stance" since the deadly Gaza flotilla incident of May 2010.
They said that in addition to aid Turkey has given Gaza, "The Turkish-Israeli agreement will make it possible for Turkey to launch major projects in the West Bank including the Jenin industrial zone."
The officials added that "there are absolutely no references to Hamas in the agreement. Turkey will continue supporting the Palestinian state and the people of Palestine."

Barak Ravid
Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.727310Schermata 2016 06 28 alle 14.51.52

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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