Gaza Strip events damage truce in region: Turkish FM
Israeli military operations in Gaza in late December and early January caused damage to the process to achieve a truce in the Middle East, where Turkey stood as one of the mediators, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davudoglu told journalists, CNN Turk reported.
The Israeli army operation which began in Gaza in December last year has put an end to efforts to resolve the conflict in the region, where Turkey has figured as a mediator in the Israeli-Syrian negotiations, said Davudoglu.
He said Turkey is now ready to mediate between Israel and Syria, as well as to support plans for a truce in the Middle East.
"For several years, Turkey has supported the efforts of international diplomacy to bring peace to the Middle East," said Davudoglu.
Turkey, he said, cannot close her eyes to the fact that for eight months, after the end of military events in Gaza, schools have not yet been built and homes of civilians have not yet been repaired.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a statement Wednesday night announcing that the Turkish envoy would be summoned to protest the "inciting" television program that appeared Tuesday evening on prime time on the government-controlled station TRT1. In the first episode of a series on a Palestinian family living in the West Bank, IDF soldiers are variously seen killing a baby and a young girl, and lining up Palestinians to be shot before a firing squad.
On Monday, Turkish Foreign Ministry announced the postponement of the international exercise "Anatolian Eagle" in Konya, scheduled for this week, due to the Israeli Air Force's participation in it on a par with Turkey and the United States.
But Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan on Wednesday said in his interview with "al-Arabiya" TV channel that the refusal of military exercises with Israel was caused by "the desire and the will of the Turkish people.
Israeli military operations "Cast lead" in Gaza, which lasted 22 days, began in response to rocket attacks on Palestinian Hamas movement in the south of Israel. According to Palestinian medics, the operation claimed lives of over 1,500 people and injured about 5,000. Administrative settlements and the homes of civilians were also destroyed In the enclave.
UN International Commission of Inquiry in Gaza, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone has accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza.