Turkey-Israel ties can be worsened further
More than 300 civilians, including women and children, have been killed; around 1,000 houses, schools and medical facilities have been destroyed as a result of Israeli operations on Gaza in the last 11 days.
The course of violence committed by the Israeli army has geared up with the launch of a ground operation late July 17, despite strong messages of condemnation by the international community.
It’s not the first time Israel is using its military power to turn the lives of innocent Palestinian into a nightmare. Instead of exerting efforts to resolve the problem politically, Israel has always preferred imposing military measures, but it did not realize that it is only brewing more problems. Furthermore, its insistence in building new settlements in Palestinian territories and its strategy of postponing the two-state solution, due to changing regional balances, made the situation more complicated.
Israel, however, might feel secure in the Middle East due to the current state of affairs: Syria and Iraq are already in turmoil and a sectarian civil war in the region will preoccupy those countries and the international community. Egypt has now received backing from the U.S. administration and President el-Sisi will focus on attempting to become the status quo in the region. All conditions are seemingly suitable for Israel to continue bullying Palestine and killing civilians, while arguing their aim is to destroy tunnels used by Hamas.
One thing Israel is failing to see is although it still has the backing of the international political system, it is rapidly losing its credibility in the eyes of any conscience man in the world. Israel has been protested against in more than 40 countries over the last weekend and the wave of protests is surely going to increase with the continuation of their ground operation.
Turkey can be counted as one of the country’s most vocal against Israeli’s offensive. President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Parliament, all political parties and nongovernmental organizations have condemned Israel with strong words and protests in prominent Turkish cities.
The Israeli operation came at a moment when two countries were silently talking about completing a deal to normalize bilateral relations that had been ruined following the Mavi Marmara crisis of 2010. An agreement was almost ready and was awaiting consent from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
However, the climate has now changed. It will not be very possible to revive normalization talks until Israel one day ends its operations and reaches a truce with Hamas. Erdoğan was clear on July 18 that he will never be on positive terms with Israel as long as he remains in charge. His accusations that Israel is committing genocide will, of course, create a similar reaction in Tel Aviv. Already downgraded to the level of chargé d’affairs, the diplomatic relations between the two can observe a new bottom as Erdoğan signaled July 18.