Turkey has broken its silence on the ongoing Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, warning Israel not to expand its attacks on the Palestinian coastal strip through a ground offensive.

Long-running efforts to restore diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel also took a hit with the four-day offensive, which has killed at least 96 Palestinians, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declaring that normalization with Israel is out of the question unless the Israeli attacks are halted.

In remarks to reporters on Friday, President Abdullah Gül said Israel is bombing homes in Palestine, destroying the homes of Palestinians and killing innocent people. He underlined his belief that the developments between Israel and Palestine are very dangerous and called for an end to the Israeli attacks as soon as possible.

“We see that Israel is getting ready for a land operation. I firmly warn such an action not to be resorted to, and such attacks should not be carried out,” Gül said, adding that such an operation would cause dangerous developments and sow the seeds of hatred among countries in the region.

He said that first of all the Israeli attacks must end, as the situation on the ground is likely to lead to endless chaos. “The attacks should be halted; a ground offensive must not be launched,” he said, calling on the United Nations and countries in the region to engage in cooperation and consultation. Gül also underlined the need for a restart to peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

His remarks were a strong reflection of the statement released by his office just a few hours before, which had called on Israel to halt its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip immediately. The statement stressed that Israel must not resort to a ground offensive in the Palestinian zone.

“As the recent great humanitarian tragedy and grief caused by the recent Israeli airstrikes has shown, unfortunately, the spiral of violence in the world has been deepening in these weeks. From Iraq to Yemen, Syria to Libya, Palestine to Afghanistan and Ukraine to Somalia… Violence, terror and armed clashes pose a great risk to peace and stability in the world. And this increase leads to irrecoverable humanitarian tragedies. These will never befit humanity or our century,” said the statement, which also called on all parties in the violence to solve their problems through diplomacy, dialogue and political mechanisms, adding that if they do not, the situation will be a hazard to all. .. see more

source: todayszaman