UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES FROM STATEMENT
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 the Israeli security forces against the innocent civilians using their right of peaceful assembly in Gaza, which resulted in the killing of 7 Palestinians and the injury of more than 500 people," Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It said that the continued use of force by Israel towards Palestinians in the occupied territories demonstrates once again the importance of the implementation of the UN General Assembly Resolution on the protection of the Palestinian people.
"We call on all responsible members of the international community to insist on ensuring accountability of the perpetrators of the crimes committed by the Israeli security forces and on preventing the recurrence of similar attacks in the future," the statement said.
Turkey will continue to follow up the issue in international fora and to stand by the Palestinian state and the Palestinian people, it added.
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.