Israel, Turkey trade barbs over attacks on Gaza strip
AA photoIsrael and Turkey have traded barbs over the recent attacks on the Gaza strip by Israeli forces, after a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave crashed into the Israeli city of Sderot on Aug. 21, less than 72 hours after the Turkish parliament ratified renewed ties with the Jewish state following a six-year rift.
Israel has criticized Turkey over the latter’s condemnation to the Israeli strikes on Gaza, after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that Turkey did not approve of Israel’s attacks.
“The normalization of our relations with Turkey does not mean that we will remain silent in the face of its baseless condemnations,” AFP quoted the Israeli Foreign Ministry as saying on Aug. 22.
“Israel will continue to defend its civilians from all rocket fire on our territory, in accordance with international law and our conscience.”
The Turkish parliament approved Aug. 19 a deal to normalize ties with Israel after a delay caused by the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
“Turkey should think twice before criticizing the military actions of others,” the Israeli statement added, without elaborating.
Israel on Aug. 21 carried out dozens of air and tank strikes in Gaza in response to a rocket fired from the Palestinian territory into a southern Israeli town.
Palestinian medical officials said four people were wounded in the strikes, launched after a rocket was fired from Gaza into the town of Sderot without causing any casualties.
Later in the day, Yıldırım reacted to the Israeli rocket attack on the blockaded Gaza Strip.
In a news conference following a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Aug. 22, Yıldırım said: “We want to clearly express that these attacks against civilians were not approved.”
“The normalization of our relations with Israel will never prevent, stop our stand for Palestinians’ justified cases and our common action with them,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Yıldırım as saying.
Earlier on Aug. 22, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s “disproportionate” attacks.
“It has been learned that Israeli military forces have attacked many points in the Gaza strip on grounds of retaliation to a rocket launched from the Gaza strip on to Israel. We condemn the aforementioned disproportionate attacks,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Aug. 22.