We’ve pissed off the Turks.
An agreement meant to prevent disputes over oil and gas fields may stir diplomatic crisis in Mediterranean: Turkish sources said Sunday that Foreign Ministry officials had summoned Israel’s Ambassador to Turkey Gabby Levy and expressed discontent over an agreement signed between Israel and Cyprus, which demarcates the exclusive economic zone within the territorial waters of the two countries and divides their rights to search for oil and gas reservoirs in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to a report published by a Turkish website, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan firmly opposes any maritime agreement between Cyprus and countries in the eastern Mediterranean, because it undermines the status of Turkish Cyprus and its stake of the territorial waters.
During the meeting with Levy, officials at the Turkish Foreign Ministry stressed that “Turkey opposes the agreement until a just and inclusive solution is reached in the Cyprus conflict.”
Turkey is the only country in the world that recognizes Turkish Cyprus.
The report also stated that Turkey would not hesitate sending its naval forces to the area, in order to thwart any oil field exploration.
According to the report, Turkey sees any such maritime agreement futile as long as there is no comprehensive peace agreement between Israel, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinians.
The Foreign Ministry issued a statement in response, saying the agreement “was not meant to harm other countries in the region.”
The ministry emphasized the importance of the agreement and stated it was “the first time Israel’s western border was set.”
On Friday, Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau and Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou signed an agreement that set the exclusive economic zone within the territorial waters of the two countries. The clarification of the borderline is essential in protecting Israel’s rights to oil and underwater gas reservoirs in the future.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
4:42PM: An IDF soldier has claimed that three Arabs carring knives attempted to kidnap him from a petrol station in Givat Ze’ev.
Incidentally, Givat Ze’ev is where Kaye Wilson, one of the women stabbed in Saturday’s attack near Beit Shemesh, lives.
2:40PM: More on the victim of Saturday’s stabbing attack a few kilometers down the road from my house.
The mystery of the stabbing attack near Beit Shemesh continued to swell Monday as members of the missionary organization CMJ, to which murder victim Kristine Luken belonged, expressed their certainty that she had died in a terror attack.
Kay Wilson, Luken’s friend, told police after her escape from the attack that she believed it had been nationalistically motivated.
“We told the police that Kay is a serious and honest person who doesn’t make up stories,” Reverend David Pileggi of CMJ, short for ‘The Church’s Ministry among Jewish people’, told Ynet. He said the organization would hold a memorial ceremony for Luken on Thursday.
Luken, who died at age 46, was born in Texas but recently moved to Nottingham, England, where she worked for the CMJ. She first came to Israel in 2007 as part of a Christian pilgrimage to visit holy sites.
On CMJ’s website, Luken described the tour as deepening her understanding of the holy verse as well as her relationship with God.
The visit caused her to become a full-fledged member of the group, and she soon left her Texas home for England and began to tour Israel more frequently. “She would go for work trips and help develop our museums and centers in Jerusalem,” Pileggi said.
“She loved Israel, the culture, and especially the history of the Jewish people,” he added.
Luken met Kay Wilson last August on the CMJ trip to Poland. “I was their group’s guide at the death camps and the Jewish community centers. They immediately connected with each other and identified with the story of the Jewish people, and became best friends. They both had a similar outlook on life and were very popular and funny, it was only natural for them to become friends. They also spoke of taking a trip to Israel together,” Pileggi recounted.
But no one in the CMJ had been notified of Luken’s visit to Israel apart from Wilson. “I suppose she didn’t tell anyone she was coming because she knew that if she did, work would be found for her to do at the offices in Jerusalem,” the reverend surmised.
She sounds like she was a special person. May her memory be blessed.
1:40PM: Egypt has reportedly arrested 4 people on suspicion of spying for Israel.
An Egyptian security official says four locals were arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel and plotting to kidnap of tourists to harm Egypt’s economy.
The official revealed Sunday that the four suspects allegedly set up offices in Egypt, Britain, Israel, and Gaza to record officials’ phone conversations and collect information about Japanese and Chinese tourists visiting the Sinai Peninsula.
The plan, according to the official, was for agents of Israel to then briefly kidnap the tourists, disrupting the Egypt’s vital tourism sector and damaging the economy.
I wonder if these are the same individuals who dumped the hungry sharks in Egyptian waters.
1:35PM: The detestable Max Blumenthal argues for BDS in a debate at Princeton.
While the BS meter is off the charts for the majority of his speech, I had a particularly big chuckle when he suggested there was no pro-Israel speaker from an established organization because of anxiety and a reluctance to debate the topic.