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Warm-up between Israel, Turkey may ease Gaza blockade

Gaza, June 29: The Islamic Hamas movement, ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007, was apparently unhappy after Israel and Turkey reached a reconciliation agreement earlier this week that would not completely lift an Israeli blockade. According to the agreement, Israel promised Turkey that it would relax the Gaza blockade, but will keep it imposed on the ground and sea in order to prevent Hamas from smuggling more arms from abroad. Turkey would build a power station, water desalition station and a hospital in Gaza, said the agreement. Relations between Israel and Turkey soured following a deadly 2010 raid by an Israeli val ship against a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, Xinhua news agency reported. The Mavi Marmara was part of a flotilla headed to the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip demanding the lifting of the Israeli blockade. Nine Turkish tiols were killed in the incident. According to the agreement, Israel will fund $20 million in compensation for the victims’ families. (IANS)