Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Turkey Courts Israel with Medical Supplies to Combat COVID-19

Fri 10 Apr 2020 | 02:59 PM
Nawal Sayed

Turkey has decided to provide Israel with medical equipment, including face masks, protective clothing and sterile gloves to help Tel Aviv combat the outbreak of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, epidemic.

Israel confirmed about 9,000 cases of the virus and more than 50 deaths.

The Ankara initiative comes after years of cold relations with Tel Aviv, after 10 Turkish civilians were killed by elements of an Israeli commando force.

The Turkish government agreed to sell medical equipment to Israel, out of "humanitarian" reasons. 

“Israel is also expected to allow a similar shipment of Turkish medical aid to reach the Palestinian Authority without any hindrances, according to a senior Turkish official,” the Bloomberg stated. 

However, it is too early to say that Ankara's attempt to show solidarity with Tel Aviv during the epidemic will pave the way for improving strained relations between Turkey and Israel.

Before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assumed power in Turkey in 2003, Ankara was the closest partner to Israel in the Muslim world, as well as close military cooperation between the two sides.

Relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara deteriorated sharply in 2010, when Israeli commandos raided a Turkish humanitarian aid fleet heading to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, killing 10 civilians.

After the attack on the ship, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador, recalled its ambassador, and withdrew from joint war games with Tel Aviv. 

In the meantime, Israeli military sales to Turkey have stopped, other trade ties have proven to be solid and flexible and have continued as usual.

A Turkish official, familiar with the Turkish medical shipment to Israel, told Sky News Arabia that three Israeli planes are expected to land on Thursday at the Turkish Incirlik air base in the south of the country to transport medical supplies.

The official pledged that his country would donate medical aid to the Palestinians too within the next few days.