ANKARA – Turkey said on Friday that Israel’s call for Gazans to move south in 24 hours ahead of its planned ground offensive was inhumane and a violation of international law.
Israel called on Friday for all civilians in the northern half of the Gaza Strip, more than 1 million people, to relocate south within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks for an expected ground assault in response to an attack by the militant Palestinian group Hamas.
“Forcing the Gaza population of 2.5 million, who have been under indiscriminate bombing and deprived collectively of electricity, water and food, to relocate in an extremely small area is a blatant breach of international law and inhumane,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said.
“We expect Israel to give up on this serious mistake and put an end to brutal and indiscriminate actions towards the civilian population in Gaza immediately,” it said in a statement.
Turkey, which has historically had contacts with Hamas but is working to repair its ties with Israel after years of acrimony, has launched diplomacy seeking to mediate the conflict.
President Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish authorities were continuing contacts to secure the release of civilians held by Hamas as well as to find a solution to the crisis.
Speaking at an event in Istanbul, he also urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through Egypt’s Rafah crossing.
Two A400M Turkish military aircraft with humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza have arrived in Egypt’s Al Arish airport, Turkey’s defence ministry said on Friday.
Footage shared by the defence ministry showed boxes covered with the logo of Turkey’s AFAD disaster management authority. The shipment included food and medical supplies.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday that humanitarian organisations would not be able to assist more than a million people in Gaza. REUTERS
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