Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that he will soon pay a visit to the Palestinian territories.
“It is possible that I will visit Gaza and the [occupied] West Bank during the course of this month or the next,” Turkey’s state news agency, Anatolia, quoted Erdogan as saying on Saturday. The Turkish premier further said, “...all of that would of course be to help the process” of lifting an Israeli embargo on the Palestine lands, pledged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an apology to Ankara. Taher al-Nunu, spokesman for Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh also confirmed the report, saying Erdogan will soon pay a visit to the blockaded Gaza Strip to meet with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Nunu further added that the Turkish prime minister had also informed Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal of his visit to the coastal enclave. Erdogan made the announcement a day after the Tel Aviv regime issued an apology to Turkey over the deaths of nine Turks during an assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla nearly three years ago. The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish nationals aboard the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other activists that were part of the team on the six-ship convoy. On Friday, Netanyahu said he had apologized on behalf of the Tel Aviv regime for the fatal raid during a phone call with Erdogan. Ankara and Tel Aviv recalled their envoys in 2011 over the flotilla issue, but Erdogan and Netanyahu have agreed to send back ambassadors following the apology.