World Bulletin / News Desk
On Monday, a Turkish ship carrying 2,500 tons of humanitarian aid bound for the Gaza Strip docked in the Israeli port city of Ashdod.
The vessel was the second of its kind to arrive in Ashdod. In July, the Turkish government sent a ship carrying humanitarian aid that was eventually distributed to the people of the Gaza Strip.
Muhammed Murteca, representative of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) in Gaza, told Anadolu Agency that a 14-strong delegation from TIKA and Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), will distribute the aid supplies in coordination with the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs in Gaza.
The aid shipment includes foodstuffs and clothing, along with 1,000 bicycles for Gazan children and 100 wheelchairs for the disabled.
The Turkish aid is expected to be distributed among the Gazans before the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, which will begin on Sept. 12.
The fresh influx of Turkish aid to Gaza comes within the context of a deal signed this summer between Turkey and Israel in which the two agreed to restore diplomatic relations following a six-year hiatus.
According to Turkish officials, Tel Aviv has met all of Ankara’s preconditions for normalizing ties, which were severed in 2010 after Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza-bound Turkish aid vessel in international waters.
The attack resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists and left another 30 injured, one of whom succumbed to his injuries nearly four years later.