Europe

Gaza's Hamas rulers thank Turkey after its deal with Israel

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 file photo, Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, left, and then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, salute together the lawmakers and supporters of Erdogan's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party at the Parliament in Ankara, Turkey. Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced Monday, June 27, 2016, that Turkey and Israel have reached a deal to normalize ties after six years of strain. (AP Photo, file)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 file photo, Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, left, and then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, salute together the lawmakers and supporters of Erdogan's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party at the Parliament in Ankara, Turkey. Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced Monday, June 27, 2016, that Turkey and Israel have reached a deal to normalize ties after six years of strain. (AP Photo, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon makes a statement to the press at a UNWRA school during his visit to the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon makes a statement to the press at a UNWRA school during his visit to the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon makes a statement to the press at an UNWRA school during his visit to the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon makes a statement to the press at an UNWRA school during his visit to the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

Gaza's Hamas rulers have thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support following a reconciliation pact with Israel that Ankara says will help alleviate hardships in the isolated coastal strip.

As part of the agreement, Turkey will be allowed to bring relief supplies into Gaza and carry out new development projects here.

Hamas sais in a statement early Tuesday that it "expresses its thanks and appreciation" to Erdogan. However, it insists that it's sticking to its policies to oppose Israel.

Relations between Israel and Turkey began to decline after Erdogan, whose party has Islamist roots, became prime minister in 2003.

They reached their nadir in 2010 when Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish ship aiming to breech the blockade of Gaza. Nine Turks, including a dual American citizen, were killed.