Following envoy, Turkey expels Israeli consul over Gaza violence

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on May 16 told Israel’s Consul General in Istanbul Yosef Levi Sfari to leave the country “for a while” following indiscriminate violence and killings by Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border which has left over 60 dead.

Turkey’s Consul General in Jerusalem was summoned by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on May 15 and was also asked to leave the country for an indefinite period of time.

In a statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Gürcan Türkoğlu was summoned and asked to return to his country, considering the latest development on bilateral relations between Jerusalem and Ankara.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister had already withdrawn the country’s own envoys from Tel Aviv and Washington on Monday evening, shortly after South Africa announced its own envoy would be on the first available flight out of Tel Aviv.

Since the border rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by crossborder Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing border protests constituted a “state of war” in which international humanitarian law did not apply.