A senior security official was quoted by Israel Radio Tuesday as saying that the reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey would help battle the growing influence of Iran in the Middle East. According to the official, both Israel and Turkey have a common interest in preventing Iran from increasing its influence in Syria and Lebanon, and the pact between the two countries will enhance cooperation for both countries on the Iran issue.
In recent months, Hizbullah – the chief agent of Iran in the region – has been increasing its activities and influence in Syria, via large numbers of terrorists who are helping the government of Bashar al-Assad fight rebel groups, as well as large amounts of supplies, funded by Iran. Neither Israel nor Turkey wants to see Hizbullah increase its influence in Syria, and the agreement, which was signed Tuesday both in Yerushalayim and Ankara Tuesday, could enhance the relationship between the two sides to increase security cooperation, even though there is no provision for this in the agreement.
On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey would be sending humanitarian aid to Gaza, and that the first ship will depart Friday, which will include 10,000 food packages, 10,000 toys, 5,000 tons of flour, 2,000 tons of rice, and 3,000 tons of sugar.
Defending the deal, government minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio Monday that “obviously we should not have to pay compensation to Turkey, but we must defend IDF soldiers and their commanders. There are international court cases against them, and we are doing this to end the saga and the threat against them. Our job is to defend IDF soldiers and commanders.
“The biggest loser here is Hamas,” he said. “Israel is now less isolated internationally, and soon we will export natural gas to Turkey, as a result of this deal.”