Erdogan: Israel's Air Assault On Hamas Targets In The Gaza Strip Is A Crime Against Humanity

ANKARA - Israel's air assault on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip is a crime against humanity, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday.

Speaking to a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdogan called on Israel to halt the attacks. As part of efforts to end the violence by Israel, Erdogan also telephoned UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and urged the UN to provide humanitarian aid to the people affected by the assaults and help stop Israel's military operation.

Calling Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip a blow to world peace, he stressed that violence leads to more violence. Decrying Israel use of disproportionate force against innocent civilians, he cited Olmert's pledge to continue direct talks between Israel and Syria. Erdogan, whose government has helped mediate the Israeli-Syria talks, added, "This operation, launched despite all of these facts, also show disrespect to Turkey."

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