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Turkish – Israeli dispute on Gaza raids amid diplomatic normalisation

Israeli-Turkish diplomatic relationship was just thawing, with ambassadors to be exchanged in the next couple of days, after more than six years, when the who sides find themselves again embroiled in the diplomatic webbings of militant rhetoric. Officials in the Israeli government ,pointed out Turkey has no right to judge other countries’ military operations, while itself involved in a series of military ventures, both covert and overt, in Syria.

“Turkey would do well to think twice before criticizing military operations of other countries. (…) The normalization of our relations with Turkey does not mean that we will remain silent in the face of its baseless condemnations. Israel will continue to defend its civilians from all rocket fire on our territory, in accordance with international law and our conscience,” said Emanuel Nahshon, the Foreign Ministry spokesman.

The virulent reaction of Israeli officials comes after this Monday two high level Turkish representatives criticized the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, calling them disproportionate. The bombings were prompted by a Qassam rocket launched from Gaza into the city of Sderot, without casualties.

“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. On the contrary, we will continue to (defend) the Palestinian cause,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.

erdoganA couple of days ago, the Turkish legislative assembly had approved the reconciliation agreement between Istanbul and Tel Aviv that led to the nrmalisation of relations for the first time after the 2011 incident. The six-year rift was caused by an Israeli special forces raid on a Turkish aid ship trying to breach the Gaza blockade. Ten Turkish activists were killed in the attack.

The normalisation comes after Israel has agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to the victims within 25 days, while the Turkish state will not prosecute or hold Israeli nationals liable for the incident.

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