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Türkiye recalls ambassador to Israel over attacks on civilians

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The Foreign Ministry recalled Türkiye’s ambassador to Israel on Saturday for consultations amid Israel’s attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza.

Foreign Ministry headquarters in Türkiye's capital Ankara in this undated file photo. (AA File Photo)
Foreign Ministry headquarters in Türkiye’s capital Ankara in this undated file photo. (AA File Photo)

“In view of the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza caused by the continuing attacks by Israel against civilians, and Israel’s refusal of calls for a cease-fire and continuous and unhindered flow of humanitarian aid, it was decided to recall our Ambassador in Tel Aviv, H.E. Mr. Şakir Özkan Torunlar, to Ankara for consultations,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Turkish-Israeli relations hit a new low as Israel continues massacres in Gaza.

Since he took office in 2003, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and an outspoken critic of Israel’s aggression and expansionist settlement policy. At the same time, he championed improving relations with Tel Aviv based on mutual interests, such as energy cooperation. But more often than not, Türkiye found itself at odds with Israel, such as in the aftermath of a 2011 raid on a vessel carrying Turkish activists delivering aid to Gaza.

The Israeli army has widened its air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip, which has been under relentless airstrikes since the surprise offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7.

At least 9,488 Palestinians, including 3,900 children, have been killed in Israeli attacks since then, while the Israeli death toll has topped 1,500, according to official figures.

Basic supplies are running low for the Gazan people due to the Israeli siege, in addition to the large number of casualties and displacements.