Turkey condemns ‘disproportionate’ Israeli attacks on Gaza strip
ANKARATurkey has condemned Israel’s “disproportionate” attacks on the Gaza strip by air and with tank fire which injured four people, after a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave crashed into the Israeli city of Sderot.
“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 Turkish Foreign Ministry on Aug. 22.
Israeli police said the rocket hit “between two buildings on a road” in Sderot, which is less than four kilometers from Gaza, causing no casualties, AFP reported.
Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner said Israeli forces retaliated by hitting targets of the Palestinian Islamist movement in northern Gaza.
“In response to the rocket attack from the Gaza Strip, the IAF [Israeli air force] and tanks targeted two Hamas posts in the northern Gaza Strip,” Lerner said in a statement.
“We conducted strikes against several dozen targets in the Gaza Strip” on Aug. 21, an army spokeswoman told AFP.
The military said it stopped all strikes before midnight, but an AFP journalist in the strip said explosions were heard until about 4:00 a.m.
Palestinian health and security sources said two people were lightly wounded by the Israeli fire.
“One of them is a 20-year-old [man] who was hit by shrapnel in the face,” said Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Later on Aug. 21, two more Palestinians were wounded by further Israeli strikes in the area, Qudra added.
Security sources in the territory said several targets in northern Gaza were struck by Israeli fire and that a reservoir in Beit Hanun was destroyed.
Turkey detains five for trying to enter Israeli consulate
Meanwhile, Turkish police detained five people who tried to break into Israel’s consulate in Istanbul to protest Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Aug. 22.
Anadolu Agency said the five entered a business center housing the consulate and were detained by police who were called to the scene. Security around the building was increased, it reported.
The incident came just days after Turkey’s parliament approved a reconciliation pact reached with Israel last month, ending a six-year rift and paving the way for the mutual reappointment of ambassadors.