Turkey revokes invitation to Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz
Turkey has revoked an invitation to Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to attend an international diplomacy conference in June, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday.
The invitation for the conference in southern Antalya province was the first since relations between the countries broke down in 2010 over the killing by Israeli troops of 10 Turkish activists on a Gaza-bound ship.
Turkey’s move to rescind the invitation arrives amid escalating violence against Palestinians by the Israeli army, including airstrikes launched in the Gaza Strip as the latest bout of tensions between the sides marks its fifth day.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, an ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause, on Saturday called Israel a "terror state" after Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades towards rock-hurling Palestinian youth at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque on Friday.
Steinitz’s attendance would have marked the first such high-level visit to Turkey by an Israeli official in years.
The revocation of Steinitz’s invitation was communicated to Israeli officials by the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv, Anadolu said.