Turkey’s Gül welcomes Gaza cease-fire amid reports of Israel shelling
In his Aug. 1 statement, Gül had warned all parties to use the utmost care regarding the cease-fire agreement, which he said was 'a critical step and a beginning, although a modest development.' AA PhotoTurkey’s President Abdullah Gül has released a statement welcoming a three-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, brokered by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Yet, by the time his statement was posted on the presidency’s official website, reports of a new Israeli shelling were already posted by international news agencies.
Israeli shelling killed eight people in southern Gaza on Aug. 1, medics said, just hours after a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire took effect, Agence-France Presse reported. A doctor at the nearby Abu Yusef al-Najjar hospital gave no immediate details as to the identities of those killed, but said they had died in a bombardment east of the southern city of Rafah, after an AFP correspondent saw heavy shelling on the area.
In his Aug. 1 statement, Gül had warned all parties to use the utmost care regarding the cease-fire agreement, which he said was “a critical step and a beginning, although a modest development.”
“I call on all parties to utilize this opportunity in the best way. Respect for the spirit and the letter of this agreement and avoiding provocations are our expectations,” Gül said.
The outgoing president also notably referred to planned talks between the parties that will take place in Cairo as “a positive approach.”
“It is our wish that the meetings in Cairo end with success and be followed by meetings for a permanent and just peace,” Gül said.
Earlier on Aug. 1, Egypt issued a statement calling on the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and Israel to send negotiation teams to Cairo to discuss “all issues of concern to each party within the framework of the Egyptian initiative.”