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Turkey says ‘extremely concerned’ about Israeli attacks on Rafah

Israel announced on February 12, 2024 the rescue of two hostages in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where the Hamas-run health ministry said "around 100" Palestinians including children were killed in heavy overnight airstrikes. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has expressed serious concern about Israeli airstrikes on the southern city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, describing the operation as a part of plan to drive people of Gaza from their own land.

“We are extremely concerned by Israel’s escalating attacks on the southern city of Rafah following the destruction and massacres it has already inflicted on the Gaza Strip. We consider this operation as part of a plan to expel the people of Gaza from their own land,” the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Israel has carried out airstrikes as part of a major offensive in the densely crowded Rafah, killing dozens, according to health officials.

There were conflicting reports of the death toll following the predawn strikes on Monday.

The ministry said ongoing attacks would exacerbate the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza and undermine efforts to secure a lasting ceasefire in the region while calling on the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, to take the necessary steps to stop Israel.

The Israeli war on Gaza war was sparked by Palestinian militant group Hamas’s unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7, which resulted in the death of about 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

Vowing to eliminate Hamas, Israel launched a massive military offensive in Gaza that the territory’s health ministry says has killed at least 28,064 people, mostly women and children.

Turkey accuses Israel of committing “genocide” and “war crimes” in Gaza.

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