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Turkey urges Israel to ‘immediately stop’ Gaza strikes

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A picture taken on November 12, 2018 shows a ball of fire above the building housing the Hamas-run television station al-Aqsa TV in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike. – Israel’s military said it was carrying out air strikes “throughout the Gaza Strip” after rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave towards its territory. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)

Turkey on Tuesday called on Israel to “immediately stop” strikes against the Gaza Strip, urging the international community to act as the escalation in violence threatened to descend into full-blown conflict.

“Israel must immediately stop its attacks against the Gaza population,” Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said, quoted by state news agency Anadolu.

“The international community, which stays silent in the face of Israel’s attacks, must take responsibility and take action,” he added.

Barrages of rocket and mortar fire into Israel and Israeli air strikes on Gaza this week have threatened a new war between the two sides.

Six Palestinians were killed in less than 24 hours as Israeli strikes targeted militants, while dozens of residents were injured in Israel following rockets and mortar rounds from the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian living in southern Israel was also killed.

The escalation, triggered by a secret operation by Israeli special forces which went awry on Sunday, came after months of tension with growing fears of a fourth conflict in 10 years between Israel and Hamas that governs the Gaza Strip.

As an unwavering supporter of Palestinians, Ankara often criticises Israeli policy, although relations improved between Turkey and Israel in 2016 after a diplomatic crisis that lasted several years.


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