Turkey pushes for humanitarian corridor into Gaza
Sevil Erkuş ANKARA
Palestinian boys help salvage religious books from a mosque that was targeted by Israeli air strikes in Nuseirat in central Gaza, early on Aug. 10. AFP PhotoTurkey is still pursuing a humanitarian aid corridor into Gaza amid ongoing negotiations for a new 72-hour cease-fire plan presented by Egypt, with the government’s plan to set up a hospital in Gaza also being on the agenda, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Turkey have yet to receive a positive reply from Israel and Egypt for an air corridor to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza in order to evacuate thousands of injured Palestinians for treatment, however, progress may be possible late Aug. 10 if parties reach a humanitarian cease-fire, the official also said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu recently held a phone conversation with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah.
“We exert intense efforts for cease-fire and humanitarian aid,” Davutoğlu wrote on his Twitter account on Aug. 10.
The foreign minister had said on Aug. 6 that the government was talking with both Egypt and Israel to have an air bridge to send humanitarian assistance.
Palestinian negotiators said Aug. 10 they had originally accepted an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour truce with Israel, clearing the way for a possible resumption of talks on a long-term cease-fire arrangement in the Gaza Strip. However, Israel walked away from cease-fire talks over the weekend after militants resumed their rocket fire on southern Israel.
Davutoğlu also had a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and discussed recent developments in Iraq.