Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday his country’s maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip would remain in place following a deal with Turkey to normalize relations.
Netanyahu made the comments in Rome, after the Zionist entity and Turkey agreed on a highly anticipated deal to end years of acrimony and restore ties.
Relations soured after a deadly 2010 Israeli raid on an aid flotilla seeking to run the blockade on Gaza.
“The second thing the agreement gives is continuation of the maritime security blockade off the Gaza Strip coast,” Netanyahu said.
“This is a supreme security interest for us. I was not prepared to compromise on it.”
Tel Aviv has launched three wars on Gaza since 2008, including a devastating 50-day conflict in the summer of 2014.
UN and aid officials have warned of deteriorating conditions in the Palestinian enclave, which has one of the world’s highest unemployment rates.
Part of the deal reached with Turkey reportedly involved a compromise in which the Zionist entity will allow the completion of a much-needed hospital in Gaza, as well as the construction of a new power station and a desalination plant for drinking water.
Turkey’s aid to Gaza would be channeled through the Israeli port of Ashdod rather than sending it directly to the Palestinian enclave, the reports said.