By Fatih Hafız Mehmet
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Sunday "strongly" condemned Israel's "excessive and disproportionate" use of force against innocent civilians in Gaza Strip.
"We strongly condemn the excessive and disproportionate use of force by Israeli security forces against innocent civilians who used their right of peaceful protest," Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On Friday, at least seven Palestinians were killed and more than 500 others injured by the Israeli army while taking part in ongoing demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.
Protesters — who have been staging demonstrations since March 30 — demand the “right of return” to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of basic commodities.
According to the Gaza’s Health Ministry, more than 180 Palestinians have been martyred — and thousands more injured — since the rallies began some six months ago.