Israel-Turkish détente still blocked by Hamas Istanbul office
The Istanbul bombing atrocity looked like having a small silver lining:the easing of the long discord between Israel and Turkey. President Tayyip Erdogan sent condolences to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin for the three Israeli victims murdered in the attack: Avraham Goldman, 69, from Herzliya, Simcha Damari, 60, from Dimona and Yonatan Shor, 40, from Tel Aviv, and wishes for the speedy recovery of the 11 injured Israelis. Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold was the first high Israeli official to be received in Ankara in many years. He came to thank the Turkish authorities for their excellent care of the Israeli victims. However, DEBKAfile’s sources report that the normalization of relations after six years of bitter strife is still opposed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, until the Turkish government shuts the Hamas office in Istanbul. He argues that as victims of terrorist atrocities themselves, they ought to understand why Israel cannot accept a permanent Hamas base in Istanbul for orchestrating attacks inside Israel. The prime minister would welcome a breakthrough to the close ties that once ruled relations with Ankara, but hesitates to overrule the defense minister on an issue of high security.