Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Dismissing Turkish denunciation of the IDF’s retaliatory strikes on Gaza, Israel vowed to continue defending its citizens from rocket attacks launched by Hamas in the Strip.

Turkey on Monday condemned what it said were “disproportionate” Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, insisting that a recent reconciliation pact does not preclude it from speaking out against the country’s actions.

The Israeli military carried out a series of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip late Sunday, targeting Hamas positions in response to a Palestinian rocket attack that hit the Israeli border town of Sderot.

“The fact that our ties with Israel have normalized does not mean that we will remain silent in the face of such attacks that target the Palestinian people,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“On the contrary, we will continue to (defend) the Palestinian cause,” the statement continued, saying Israel’s response was “against international laws and especially against consciences.”

‘Turkey Should Think Twice Before Criticizing Others’

“The normalization of our relations with Turkey does not mean that we will remain silent in the face of its baseless condemnations,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated in response.

“Israel will continue to defend its innocent civilians from all rocket fire on our territory, in accordance with international law, and according to our responsibility our conscience. Turkey should think twice before criticizing the military actions of others.”

Turkey and Israel reached an agreement last month to end a six-year rift caused by an Israeli naval raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship that tried breaching Israel’s blockade of Gaza in 2010. Passengers on board ambushed IDF soldiers with knives and metal rods. In the ensuing scuffle, 10 Turkish “human rights activists” were killed and several IDF soldiers were seriously wounded.

Turkey’s parliament last week approved the reconciliation agreement under which Israel will pay $20 million in compensation to the victims within 25 days. Under the agreement, individual Israeli nationals also would not be held criminally or financially liable for the incident.

Thugs Try Attacking Israeli Consulate in Istanbul

Earlier Monday, police detained five rioters who tried to break into Israel’s consulate in Istanbul to protest the airstrikes on Gaza.

The State-run Anadolu Agency said the five had entered a business center housing the consulate early Monday and were detained by police who were called to the scene.

Security around the building was increased, the agency reported.

By: United with Israel and AP

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Source: United with Israel