Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extended condolences to Israelis on Thursday following this week’s Palestinian terrorist attack in Ariel and promised to work towards bringing about a “new age” in ties between Ankara and Jerusalem.

In a phone call, Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu discussed “ways to significantly strengthen economic and diplomatic ties between the countries…[and] act in cooperation to establish a new age in relations between Turkey and Israel,” according to a readout of the conversation released by Netanyahu’s office.

Netanyahu similarly extended condolences to the Turkish people after a terrorist bombing in Istanbul on Sunday killed six civilians and wounded 81.

On Tuesday, three Israelis were killed and three others seriously wounded when Palestinian Muhammed Souf went on a stabbing and car-ramming rampage in and around Ariel, located in Samaria.

Erdogan has long been a champion of the Palestinians and his government harbors members of Hamas.

The Turkish president earlier this month said that his country’s rapprochement with the Jewish state would continue irrespective of the outcome of Israel’s Nov. 1 national election. This after Israel and Turkey announced in August the restoration of full diplomatic relations following a years-long rift.

Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Erdogan in Ankara in late October, in the first official visit by an Israeli defense minister to Turkey in more than a decade.

JNS

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