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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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Israel okays Turkey hospital in Gaza

Israel has authorised Turkey to truck construction materials into the Gaza Strip and to build a new hospital there, an Israeli newspaper reported yesterday.

The Israel Hayom freesheet characterised the move as a gesture aimed at thawing relations between the one-time allies which became icy following a 2010 Israeli raid on a ship seeking to break the Jewish state's Gaza blockade, in which nine Turkish activists were killed.

Security officials were not immediately available to confirm or deny the report.

The Israeli blockade on Gaza was first imposed in June 2006 following the capture by militants from the territory of an Israeli soldier, who was eventually freed in October 2011 in a trade for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

It was strengthened in 2007, when the Islamist Hamas movement took control of Gaza, then eased somewhat following an international outcry over the killing of the Turkish activists.

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