Israel and Turkey have admitted that the Syrian unrest was the main reason that pushed them to end their bitter rift and restore relations.
Both Israel and Turkey support militants operating in Syria and want the the Damascus government toppled. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that the renewal of ties with Tel Aviv may hasten the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has noted that the key factor that pushed Tel Aviv to resume ties with Ankara was Israel’s concerns over Syria’s chemical weapons. He said Israel is worried that the weapons will fall into the wrong hands, including al-Qaeda-linked groups. Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday that Israel and Turkey, which border Syria, need to communicate with each other over the Syrian crisis. Tel Aviv restored relations with Ankara on Friday after Netanyahu apologized for the deaths of nine Turkish activists in an Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound international flotilla in 2010. The Israeli premier also agreed to pay compensation to the families of the nine activists. The deal was brokered by US President Barack Obama during a visit to Israel. Netanyahu had previously only expressed regret for the deaths and refused to apologize.