Erdogan blasts Israel after building used by Turkish news agency in Gaza bombed

President says Anadolu will ‘continue to tell the world about Israeli atrocities in Gaza’; IDF says leveled building was being used by terrorist groups

Residents inspect the damage to a building in Gaza City, May 4, 2019. (AP/Adel Hana)
Residents inspect the damage to a building in Gaza City, May 4, 2019. (AP/Adel Hana)

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday fiercely denounced Israel for the bombing of a building housing Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu in Gaza.

The bombing came amid heavy fighting on Saturday, as Gazan terrorists fired over 250 rockets at Israel and Jerusalem responded with airstrikes on the Strip.

“We strongly condemn Israel’s attack against Anadolu Agency’s office in Gaza,” Erdogan said on Twitter.

“Turkey and Anadolu Agency will continue to tell the world about Israeli terrorism and atrocities in Gaza and other parts of Palestine despite such attacks,” he wrote.

An explosion is seen among buildings during an Israeli airstike on Gaza City in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave on May 4, 2019. (Mahmud Hams / AFP)

Anadolu reported that the building collapsed after being hit. The IDF said the eight-story building was used by the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups to conduct terrorist activities.

Staff were evacuated shortly before the strike which was preceded by a warning shot, the agency said, adding that none of its journalists had been hurt.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu added: “Targeting of @AnadoluAgency #Gaza office is new example of Israel’s unrestrained aggression.

“Israeli violence against innocent people w/out distinction is a crime against humanity. Those who encourage Israel are also guilty. Will keep defending #Palestinian cause, even if alone,” he said.

The latest flare-up came with Hamas, the Islamist terror movement that rules the blockaded Gaza Strip, seeking further concessions from Israel under a shaky ceasefire that had brought several months of relative calm to the restive region.

Palestinian supporters of the Hamas movement hold portraits of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they shout slogans against the military coup attempt in Turkey, during a demonstration in Gaza City, on July 17, 2016. (AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)

The destruction of the Anadolu offices risks a new surge of tension between Turkey and Israel.

Turkey has repeatedly criticized Israeli policies even though the two countries in 2016 ended a six-year rift mainly over Israeli actions in Gaza.

Erdogan, an ardent defender of the Palestinian cause, and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu frequently exchange barbs.

Last month, Erdogan called the Israeli leader a “tyrant” after Netanyahu called him a “dictator” and a “joke.”

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