Turkey has warned Iran not to carry out attacks on Israelis on its soil, Maariv reported on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Israel issued an urgent travel advisory urging Israelis to practice caution when traveling to Turkey for fear of imminent terror attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets.
Turkey’s warning message was reportedly sent directly to Iran’s secretive Al-Quds force, the unit allegedly responsible for the training of global terror organizations and carrying out anti-Israel activities outside of Iran. The Al-Quds force is suspected of involvement in recent terror attacks against Israeli diplomats in New Delhi, Bangkok and Tbilisi.
According to intelligence received by Israel’s Counter Terrorism Bureau, terrorist groups intend to carry out attacks against Israeli or Jewish targets in Turkey in the coming days.
Israel-Turkey relations are fragile, and on Tuesday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an address to parliament that Israel has conducted a systematic massacre of the Palestinians.
Following four days of rocket fire and reprisal strikes between Gaza and Israel that left 24 Palestinians dead, Erdoğan condemned Israeli aggression. He called Gaza the world’s largest open-air prison and claimed that Israel was massacring Gazans after failing to kill them off by depriving them of food and medicine.
“A massacre has been committed slowly but systematically in Palestine since the beginning of the 20th century,” Erdoğan said, pointing the finger at Israel.
Erdoğan, an outspoken proponent of the Palestinian cause, called on Israel to “end its inhumane attack on Gaza and Palestine’s territories.”
He also urged Israelis, “who are also victims of a genocide, to object to genocide attempts against Palestinians and ask their state to end state terrorism.”
Tension between Turkey and Israel has run high in the past two years, notably since the Gaza flotilla incident in May 2010 when Israeli commandos were attacked as they tried to commandeer the Mavi Marmara, a vessel that sought to break the Israeli sea blockade of Gaza. Nine Turkish nationals were killed in the violent clashes on board.
Erdoğan has demanded that Israel formally apologize for the death of the nine, something Israel has refused to do.