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Turkey condemns Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, calls for ‘restraint’

Turkey condemns Israel’s airstrikes in the Gaza Strip and says it’s “deeply concerned” about the latest rounds of violence.

“We strongly condemn the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza on Aug. 5. We find it unacceptable that civilians, including children, lost their lives in attacks,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement reported by the Daily Sabah.

“We are deeply concerned about the rising tension in the region after the attacks. We emphasize the need to immediately end these events before they turn into a new conflict, and call for restraint and common sense,” the statements reads.

Israel launched Operation Breaking Dawn in the Gaza Strip on Friday in response to what leaders said was an ongoing “concrete” threat by Gaza-based terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) to target Israeli civilians and soldiers in Gaza-border areas.

In its initial round of strikes, the military said six sites were hit by fighter jets and armed drones. One of the strikes killed one of the PIJ’s senior commanders, Tayseer Jabari.

Jabari replaced Abu al-Ata as the group’s commander in northern Gaza after the latter’s assassination by Israel in 2019. The PIJ confirmed Jabari’s death.

A senior military official said Jabari and many of his fighters were planning to attack civilians near the border.

The IDF on Friday also targeted the head of the anti-tank guided missile array and several squads preparing attacks. The army estimated that between 10-20 terror operatives had been killed in the opening wave of airstrikes.

By nightfall, the Hamas-run health ministry confirmed that at least 10 people had been killed, including a five-year-old girl, and 55 others wounded.

Israeli leaders said the airstrikes were necessary after PIJ refused to back down from its intentions to carry out attacks. PIJ had been threatening since Tuesday to attack — to reinforce its demand that Israel release its West Bank commander, Bassem Saadi, who was arrested in an IDF raid in Jenin on Monday — causing days of road closures and community lockdowns in areas near the border under immediate threat.

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