Erdoğan condemns Israel for bombing news agency's building in Gaza
Updated with new information
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan late Saturday fiercely denounced Israel after the Gaza office of the Turkish state-run news Anadolu Agency was hit by Israeli warplanes during the latest round of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.
The agency’s building was destroyed by at least five rockets following warning shots, Anadolu reported, citing its correspondent in Jerusalem.
No injuries or death were reported in the attack.
"We strongly condemn Israel's attack against Anadolu Agency's office in Gaza," Erdoğan said on Twitter.
Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın condemned the attack on Twitter, saying it intended to cover Israel’s ‘’new crimes.‘’
“We condemn Israel in the strongest possible terms for targeting a building in the West Bank, in which the @anadoluagency office was located,” Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also said on Twitter.
The report on the strikes follows news on Friday of the injury of two Israeli soldiers in gunfire near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.
At least two Palestinians were killed on Friday when Israeli warplanes struck Hamas positions in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Following the attack, Israel Defense Forces on Twitter said that it had bombed a building in Gaza City containing Hamas military intelligence and general security offices, posting the picture of the agency's building. "Hamas used this building to hide terror infrastructure while abusing its location in the heart of a residential neighborhood," it said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are among the most vocal critics of the Israeli government and supporters of the Palestinian cause.
Following the 2018 decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to move the United States’ embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognise the city as Israel’s capital, Erdoğan organised an Extraordinary Session of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC)’s Islamic Summit Conference to respond to the announcement. The organisation rejected and condemned the move.
Tensions between Ankara and Tel Aviv escalated earlier this year after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel was only the state the Jewish people.