Israel to deliver state-of-the-art arms to Turkey
Israel will resume military supplies to Turkey despite the continuing uncertainty in the relationship. This decision was prompted by economic considerations. Disruption of previously signed contracts of Israeli defense companies could cause significant losses. Tel Aviv does not rule out the possibility of resuming the dialogue.
The statement was made in January of this year by the former head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tzachi Hanegbi following the resignation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Avigdor Lieberman, who is known to oppose a compromise with Ankara.
Israeli company ELTA signed a Turkish contract over 10 years ago. Against the backdrop of the war in neighboring Syria that has already affected Turkey Israeli equipment is particularly attractive to the Turks. Israeli electronic systems will be installed on Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS, purchased by Turkey from the U.S. in the early 2000s. This equipment allows aircraft to protect against electronic attacks in flight, Zman.com reported. American company Boeing that supplies aircraft to Turkey from the very beginning has been interested in the success of this transaction, despite the apparent deterioration of the Turkish-Israeli relations. All this time, Washington has been pressuring Tel Aviv, demanding resumption of supply of high-tech military equipment. Earlier Boeing threatened to freeze all cooperation with Israeli defense companies if the deal falls through.
The relations between Turkey and Israel have worsened in 2010 after the incident with the "Freedom Flotilla" headed to the Gaza Strip. On May 31, 2010 the soldiers of "Shaetet-13" division shot dead nine Turkish citizens during the assault of the ship "Mavi Marmara". Then Ankara harshly criticized the IDF. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke in favor of the complete lifting of the blockade of Gaza. In May of 2011 Erdogan again condemned Israel, which, according to him, continued to practice the policy of violence and spread it to the maritime space. At the same time, Turkey accused Israel of breaching the contract for drone supplies as aircraft had to be returned for maintenance. However, the manufacturers rejected the accusations, saying that the source of the problem was poor quality of the equipment provided by the Turkish company.
However, the official Tel Aviv made several attempts to normalize the relations between the two countries. In June of 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu sent a personal telegram to Erdogan, expressing hope for the normalization of the relations between Israel and Turkey. However, in September Ankara announced freezing of the relations with Tel Aviv in the defense sector. Finally, on December 22, 2011 "Elbit" company published details of a government ban on the execution of multi-million dollar contract with the Turkish side. Recently, there has been some progress in resolving the long-standing dispute about the blockade of Gaza.
The Government of Israel has given Turkey permission for the delivery of construction materials to the territory of the Palestinian enclave for the construction of a hospital in coastal areas funded by Turkey, in the place where the Jewish settlement of Netzarim was located in the center of the sector. Israel also allowed the Turkish side to dispatch 20 experts. According to the plans of the Turkish authorities, it will be the largest medical center in the sector with modern facilities for up to 150 beds, reported online edition of The Jewish Times. However, the Turkish Foreign Ministry denied any connection between these events and the restoration of the relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv.
Observers noted that this year there has been a warming of the relations between Israel and Turkey. According to the news agency Newsru.co.il, the owners of Leviathan gas field concession were discussing the possibility of building a pipeline to Turkey for the supply of natural gas in this country and Europe. Ankara is not in a hurry to discuss energy cooperation because of the lingering political differences. However, gas needs of the Turkish economy continue to rise, suggesting serious prospects of cooperation with Israel in the energy field. The volume of gas reserves of Leviathan deposit exceeds 450 billion cubic meters.