Turkey: Prime minister's trip to Gaza will go on despite Kerry warning

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Kerry was in Turkey to meet with the Syrian opposition and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In a press conference Sunday, he raised concerns that Erdoğan's trip could unravel peace talks and a White House-brokered detente between Turkey and Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for a 2010 incident that left nine Turkish Gaza blockade-runners dead.

“With respect to the Prime Minister’s potential visit to Gaza, we have expressed to the Prime Minister that we really think that it would be better delayed and that it shouldn’t take place at this point in time for a number of different reasons,” Kerry said. “The Prime Minister obviously has a right to make decisions about what he does and where he goes, but it was our feeling in a constructive way that we thought that the timing of it is really critical with respect to the peace process that we’re trying to get off the ground and that we would like to see the parties begin with as little outside distraction as possible.”

Kerry's remarks also earned him the ire of Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip and is considered a terrorist group by the State Department. Kerry and Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority controls the West Bank, are involved in a “collusion in a bid to maintain the blockade on Gaza,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, according to the Agence France-Presse.

“Hamas denounces the US position calling for the cancellation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Gaza,” he said in a statement. “This proves US involvement in consecrating the Gaza blockade,” Abu Zuhri said in a statement.”