Erdogan condemns Israeli Gaza bombing of Turkish news agency offices
Istanbul, May 5 : President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday fiercely denounced Israel for the bombing of a building housing Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu in Gaza.
“We strongly condemn Israel’s attack against Anadolu Agency’s office in Gaza,” Erdogan said on Twitter.
“Turkey and Anadolu Agency will continue to tell the world about Israeli terrorism and atrocities in Gaza and other parts of Palestine despite such attacks,” he wrote.
Anadolu reported that the building collapsed after being hit.
Staff were evacuated shortly before the strike which was preceded by a warning shot, the agency said, adding that none of its journalists had been hurt.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu added: “Targeting of @AnadoluAgency #Gaza office is new example of Israel’s unrestrained aggression.
“Israeli violence against innocent people w/out distinction is a crime against humanity. Those who encourage Israel are also guilty. Will keep defending #Palestinian cause, even if alone,” he said.
Gaza militants on Saturday fired some 200 rockets at Israel, which responded with strikes that killed four Palestinians including a baby and her pregnant mother, according to officials, as a fragile ceasefire faltered and a further escalation was feared.
The latest flare-up came with Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the blockaded Gaza Strip, seeking further concessions from Israel under the ceasefire.
The destruction of the Anadolu offices risks a new surge of tension between Turkey and Israel.
Turkey has repeatedly criticised Israeli policies even though the two countries in 2016 ended a six-year rift triggered by the Israeli storming of a Gaza-bound ship that left 10 Turkish activists dead.
Erdogan, an ardent defender of the Palestinian cause, and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu frequently exchange barbs, notably during election campaigns.
Last month, Erdogan called the Israeli leader a “tyrant” after Netanyahu called him a “dictator” and a “joke”.