Turkey tells Israel’s Istanbul consul to leave in escalating row

A rallyist holds a Palestinian flag on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on Tuesday, May 15, during a protest against the killing of 59 Palestinians who clashed with Israeli police at the Gaza border. (AFP)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Turkey tells Israel’s Istanbul consul to leave in escalating row

ISTANBUL: Turkey has told the Israeli consul general in Istanbul to leave the country temporarily, state media said Wednesday, the latest of a series of tit-for-tat expulsions in a growing crisis over Israel’s deadly firing on Palestinians on the Gaza border.
The Turkish foreign ministry has told the consul to leave Turkey “for a period of time,” the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Turkey had already withdrawn its ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations and told the Israeli ambassador to Ankara to leave, while Israel ordered the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to leave for an unspecified period of time.
The row, which on Tuesday saw President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu exchange bitter jibes on Twitter, threatens a 2016 deal on normalizing ties after a long-running crisis.
Turkey has expressed outrage over the killing by Israeli forces on Monday of 60 Palestinians on the Gaza border and also blamed tensions on the US decision to move its embassy for Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Erdogan will on Friday host an emergency summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul which he has said will send a “strong message to the world” on the issue.
The 2016 reconciliation deal ended a dispute over the May 2010 deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos that saw relations downgraded.
That deal was strongly backed by the US, which was keen to see Israel make up with one of its very few key Muslim partners.
But Erdogan, who regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause, has never shied away from criticism of Israel even as ministers pressed energy cooperation between the two sides.
Erdogan this week has accused Israel of “genocide” and told Netanyahu he is leading an “apartheid state” while having the “blood of Palestinians” on his hands.
Netanyahu meanwhile told Erdogan that as a leading supporter of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas “there’s no doubt he’s an expert on terror and slaughter.”
In a tweet titled “Reminder to Netanyahu,” Erdogan then denied that Hamas is a terror group, saying it is a “resistance movement that defends the Palestinian homeland against an occupying power.”
After talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday, Erdogan warned that history “will not forgive” Israel or the United States for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem in defiance of the Islamic world.


More than 85 Houthis killed in battles across Yemen

Updated 17 February 2019
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More than 85 Houthis killed in battles across Yemen

  • More than 40 militants were killed in the southern Taiz province, and 18 others were killed on the Damt front in the southern Ad Dali province
  • Scores of militants were wounded, while the army seized military-grade equipment and ammunition.

DUBAI: More than 85 Iran-backed Houthi militants were killed and more wounded in clashes with the Yemeni army supported by the Arab Coalition across the country on Saturday, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

According to the reports, more than 40 militants were killed in the southern Taiz province, and 18 others were killed on the Damt front in the southern Ad Dali province, while more than 30 were killed in clashes with the Hajour tribe northwest of the country.

Scores of militants were wounded, while the army seized military-grade equipment and ammunition.

Meanwhile, Yemen’ Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad al-Hadrami said that the continued conflict stirred by the Houthis threatens the Swedish peace agreement and any progress in the political process.

In a meeting with UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash on the sidelines of the 55th session of the Munich Conference of Security 2019, Al-Hadrami said that the continued Houthi manipulation represents the failed opportunities for peace in Yemen.

For his part, UAE’s Gargash stressed on the need to combine efforts and send clear messages to the international community revealing the truth behind the militia’s violations on the ground.