Turks condemn Israel aggression against Gaza Strip

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Turkish protesters have gathered outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul to protest against Israel’s brutal offensive against the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to local media reports, the demonstrators on Friday threw stones at the consulate with stones and shouted “Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine.”

Riot police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters, who smashed the consulate’s windows with sticks and rocks.

Demonstrators also threw rocks and waved Palestinian flags outside the Israeli embassy in the capital, Ankara. Windows of the building were reported to have been broken.

The protests came a day after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the Israeli aggression against Gaza, saying Tel Aviv seeks a “systematic genocide” of the Palestinians.

“The Western world remains silent… Because those who lost their lives are Palestinian, you can’t hear their voices,” Erdogan told a meeting of Islamic scholars in Istanbul to mark the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

He also condemned the United Nations for its inaction and added, “They are serving whatever their secret agenda is.”

Israel began its latest onslaught against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on July 8. The violence has so far claimed the lives of around 260 people in Gaza. About a third of the Palestinian fatalities are women and children.

Israeli forces on Thursday launched a ground offensive against the blockaded enclave.

Relations between Israel and Turkey soured after Israeli marines stormed a Gaza-bound Turkish ship in 2010 while in international waters. Ten Turks died as a result of the assault.

MR/HJL

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