Turkey expels Israeli ambassador over Gaza deaths; Belgium summons Israeli envoy – Israel News


Israel’s ambassador to Turkey Eitan Naeh was summoned on Tuesday to the Foreign Ministry in Ankara and asked to leave the country over the death toll in protests that took place along the Gaza border on Monday.

Education Ministry Naftali Bennett denounced the Turkish president in response to the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador. “Erdogan is soaked in Hamas terrorism from head to toe. It was a grave mistake at the time to sign a compensation for tens of millions of dollars in the wake of the Mavi Marmara,” referring to the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid.

Bennett said that he voted against the reconciliation agreement in 2016 and posted a three-point plan of action for “the Knesset, government and the Israeli public.”

“I turn to the speaker of the Knesset to approve the official recognition by  Israel of the Armenian genocide perpetrated by Turkey,” Bennett said.

“I submitted a request to the prime minister to discuss the recognition of the right of the Kurdish minority in Syria and beyond recognition and autonomy,” he added. Bennett then called on the Israeli public “to cancel trips to Turkey, immediately,” telling Israelis that they also “have a role to play. “Go on vacation in the Galilee and the Golan Heights” instead, the minister tweeted. 

Tzipi Livni, a member of the Israeli opposition, condemned the news on Turkey, calling on “Erdogan and the rest of the world not to be confused – Israel left Gaza and left a border behind it.”

Meanwhile, Belgium summoned the Israeli ambassador Simona Frankel to a meeting with a senior official of the Foreign Ministry as diplomatic fallout from Gaza deadly clashes continue. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry reported.

On Monday, Turkey recalled its ambassadors in Israel and the United States for consultations due to the violent demonstrations which claimed the lives of 60 Palestinians by Israeli gunfire during the border protests. 

South Africa also said Monday that it was recalling its ambassador to Israel due to the death toll in Gaza.

“The South Africa government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

In September 2011, Turkey downgraded its diplomatic relations with Israel, recalled its ambassador in Tel Aviv and expelled the Israeli ambassador to Ankara in response to a UN inquiry that stated that Israel has not violated international law when it took control of the 2010 Gaza flotilla.

In 2016, Israel transferred $20 million to a humanitarian fund set up by the Turkish government in a reconciliation deal between the two countries. The fund was set up by the Turkish government from which compensation would be paid to the Turkish victims’ families.  

At the same time, Turkey approved the reconciliation agreement in a parliamentary vote in Ankara and made it a law. As part of the agreement, it was decided that all the suits filed in Turkey against Israeli soldiers and officers involved in the takeover of the Gaza flotilla would be dropped.

After five years without an ambassador, Israel’s current representative Eitan Naeh was appointed to the post back in October 2015.

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