Israel has not officially commented on Turkish Foreign Ministry’s reports about the alleged agreements on normalization of relations between Jerusalem and Ankara. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke in Washington and said that in the case of improved relations with Israel, Turkey would be interested to supply electricity to the Gaza Strip.
According to him, Turkey is even ready to deliver a floating power plant to the shores of Gaza. This offer was categorically rejected by the Israeli side.
Despite the conflict with Hamas group, which controls the Gaza Strip, Israel still delivers electricity and water there. At the same time, circles of PM Netanyahu note that they are ready to discuss Turkey's role in the process of improving the lives of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, if this process is to be carried out in absolute coordination with the Israeli authorities.
On Thursday, London held a meeting between representatives of the two countries that, according to a senior source in Jerusalem, lasted for several hours. However, there are no reports about any agreement that could be reached there.
The Israeli delegation was represented by Netanyahu’s special envoy Yosef Ciechanover and acting National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel. The Turkish side was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu.
"Our demands to Turkey remain the same, they were repeated in London, and everything now depends on Ankara's actions only," a source close to the Israeli leadership said.
Relations between Turkey and Israel were visibly spoiled in January 2009. Israel carried out great Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip that caused a maritime and land blockade of the Strip.
Israel explained this step with a need to fight against Hamas, which came to power in Gaza after a coup that happened in 2007.
However, this explanation was rejected by Turkish leader, who made a number of anti-Israeli statements. Erdogan accused Israel of genocide of the Palestinian people and completely buried all the hopes to have a dialogue with the Jewish state.
Israel’s demands to Turkey remain unchanged. The three conditions were put forward last December, when Turkish President openly claimed his readiness to resume the dialogue.
The first one urges to immediately close Hamas command post in Istanbul. According to Israel’s opinion, the post gives direct instructions to Hamas activists, who live in the West Bank of the Jordan River. It is reported that Turkish authorities still aren’t ready to take such a step, and this makes it difficult to reach a compromise.
According to the second condition, Turkish parliament has to adopt a law that will forbid Turkey to sue against Israeli soldiers who took part in capture of Turkish flotilla in May 2010. The problem can be solved in the nearest future due to the fact that Israeli side has apologized for the deaths of ten Turkish citizens and even agreed to pay compensation of $20 million.
The third condition demands an immediate stop of anti-Israeli propaganda, imposing special requirements for Israel's actions in Gaza.
However, some Israeli politicians are sure that even if Turkey fulfills all the requests, Israeli leaders should carefully analyze all pros and cons of the strategic dialogue with Ankara.
According to sources in Jerusalem, it’s not worth expecting some stunning solutions or diplomatic sensations in the coming weeks. On April 21, Benjamin Netanyahu will come to Moscow with a working visit, where he is going to meet Vladimir Putin. There is no doubt that Israeli leader wouldn’t make peace with Erdogan just before an important meeting with Russian president.