Turkey condemned Israel on Monday, calling the IDF's airstrikes in the Gaza Strip "disproportionate" and insisting that a recent reconciliation pact does not preclude it from speaking out against Israel's actions.
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- Israel's Tough Message to Hamas
The army 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 southern city 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," it said, calling Israel's actions "against international laws and especially against consciences."
Turkey and Israel reached an agreement last month to end a six-year rift caused by a naval raid on a Turkish aid ship trying to breach the blockade of Gaza. Ten Turkish activists were killed in the raid.
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.
Earlier, police detained five people who tried to break into the Israeli consulate in Istanbul to protest the Gaza airstrikes.
State-run Anadolu Agency said the five 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.