Israel suffers first fatality after Turkish PM Erdoğan said 'Hamas bombs' don't kill
The Israeli military said that since the ceasefire deal was to have gone into effect, Hamas had fired 123 rockets at Israel, one killing a civilian - the first Israeli fatality in the fighting. A Palestinian civilian was killed in an air strike in Khan Younis.The Israeli military has announced a rocket fired by Hamas in Gaza killed an Israeli civilian as the first fatality in the latest fighting, hours after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan questioned the lethality of "the Hamas bombs."
Israel resumed air strikes in the Gaza Strip July 15 after agreeing to an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire deal that failed to get Hamas militants to halt rocket attacks.
Six hours after implementation of the truce was to have begun, and citing the persistent salvoes, Israel resumed attacks in Gaza. The military said it targeted at least 20 of Hamas's hidden rocket launchers, tunnels and weapons storage facilities.
Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted 20 of the Hamas projectiles, including two over the Tel Aviv area, and the rest caused no damage or casualties, according to Reuters.
The Israeli military said that since the ceasefire deal was to have gone into effect, Hamas had fired 123 rockets at Israel, one killing a civilian - the first Israeli fatality in the fighting.
A Palestinian civilian was killed in an air strike in Khan Younis, raising the death toll in the Gaza Strip in eight days of fighting to 188, including at least 150 civilians, among them 31 children, according to Gaza medical officials.
Earlier in the day, PM Erdoğan accused Israel of committing “systematic atrocity and state terror” against the Palestinians since 1948. “What Israel has been doing in Gaza since last week is not explainable. Israel continues to terrorize. Moving beyond individual terrorism, it’s now committing state terror,” he said, speaking in his weekly address to his parliamentary group on July 15.
The Turkish prime minister, now running for the presidency, is well-known for his sharp accusations against Israel, particularly since 2010 when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish citizens on the board of Mavi Marmara vessel carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza under Israeli siege.
Though he welcomed Egypt’s move to broker a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel and expressed his hope for a deal, Erdoğan recalled that a similar cease-fire was also reached in 2012. “It seems that the blood of innocent Palestinian innocent children is once again being used in the dirty politics of the Middle East,” he added.
“Our faith is not in balances, but in God. We are not going to be among those who keep silent in the name of balances at the expense of betraying their history, ancestors, and civilization. One of the most painful parts of this atrocity observed in Gaza is the fact that the majority of the humanity remains silent to this brutality. Unfortunately, the slaughtered children of Palestine with bombs do not mean much to humanity,” Erdoğan said. “Humanity has even turned its back on what’s going on in Palestine. They don’t see, hear or feel them.”
He also claimed Turkey was the “only country in the world” standing up against Israel. “No country in the world, apart from Turkey, can stand against Israel’s internationally unlawful attacks and urge it to stop. I recall, once again, that those who commit brutalities will sooner or later pay the price,” Erdoğan said.
“History has taught a lesson to us. No cruelty is eternal. The cruel have to pay the price of cruelty sooner or later. [The cost of] systematic cruelty, attempted massacre and genocide that have been continuing since 1948 will not be left unpaid. Sooner or later these will be paid. The cries of children will not be left unanswered.”
Erdoğan also referred to a female Knesset member who reportedly said that “all Palestinians are our enemies,” describing this mentality as no different to that of Adolf Hitler. “I ask, for God’s sake, what difference does this mentality have from Hitler’s mentality?” he asked.
‘Global justice dying in Gaza’
“The world does not care when racism, fascism, discrimination is applied against Palestinian women. I call on Europe, the West: Why are you silent? How long will you continue to support this cruelty? I call on the Muslim world: Except for few countries, how long will you remain unresponsive while your brothers are being killed flagrantly? Not only children are dying in Palestine but so is global justice, global conscience. No matter what they say; we will continue to show the painful reality to the world. No matter who will be annoyed, inside or outside, we will continue to side with the oppressed,” Erdoğan said.
He also called on Israelis to challenge their administration over its Gaza operations. “They say ‘Hamas bombs as well.’ Yes it bombed, but how many people were killed? There are no casualties. How can this be? You killed 200 and around 1,000 were wounded. You once again destroyed Gaza as a result of 400-ton bombs. The Israeli people will never be in security and prosperity if they continue these policies,” he said.
The prime minister reiterated that Turkish-Israeli ties would not be normalized if Israelcontinues to “kill innocent children and continue its operations on Gaza.” “A cease-fire is not enough. We want the lifting of the inhumane embargo on Gaza. Neither Israel nor the region will be secure unless Palestine is granted [the status of] an independent state. Hey America! You always talked to us about ‘two state Palestine’: Israel and Palestine. But when it comes to implementation…”
Erdoğan also slammed the opposition parties for “siding with Israel,” arguing that both Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) “betrayed” the Palestinian cause.
“When we criticized Tel Aviv, we received the response not from Israel but from the CHP,” he said, adding that the CHP-MHP’s joint presidential candidate, Ekmelettin İhsanoğlu, was following the same policy.
Esra Albayrak, Erdoğan's eldest daughter, joined a July 15 protest organized by the Woman and Democracy Association (KADEM) in front of the Israeli consulate in Istanbul against Tel Aviv's military operation in Gaza Strip. Albayrak voiced her concerns over the fighting, saying 'we are here to show our civilian reaction.'