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Türkiye urges Israel to withdraw from Rafah

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Türkiye urged Israel to urgently withdraw from the Rafah border crossing it occupied on the Gaza side, saying that an attack on Rafah would affect not only the region but also the whole world.

“The status quo in Rafah and at the border crossing must be restored without further delay,” Türkiye’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Öncü Keçeli said on X.

After Hamas agreed to the cease-fire proposal in Gaza, Israel’s attack on Rafah shows the Netanyahu government is not acting in “good faith,” he added.

“Amid such a positive development towards ending the destruction and massacre in Gaza, Israel’s increased attacks on Rafah have once again shown that the Netanyahu government is not acting in good faith,” said Keçeli.

Israel has taken “operational control of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossings,” after advancing during the night as their warplanes pounded residential homes.

On Monday, Israeli forces issued evacuation orders for Palestinians in eastern Rafah, a move widely seen as a prelude to Israel’s long-feared attack on the city, home to some 1.5 million displaced Palestinians.

Shortly afterward, Hamas announced that it had accepted a proposal for a cease-fire and hostage deal in Gaza, a move welcomed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Ankara has been a vocal critic of Israel since the start of the conflict on Oct. 7 and a staunch defender of the Palestinian cause. It has accused Israel of carrying out war crimes and genocide in Gaza. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan describes Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union, as freedom fighters.

Türkiye has also floated a guarantorship model for the conflict, which several Palestinian officials have welcomed.

Nearly 34,800 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip since last October, Gaza’s Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Israel also stands accused of genocide in an ongoing case at the International Court of Justice.

An interim ruling in January said it is “plausible” that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and ordered Tel Aviv to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians there.

Source: Daily Sabah

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