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Turkey asks Israel envoy to leave country

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a panel discussion within the "Munich Security Conference" in Munich, Germany on 19 February, 2017 [Ahmet Gumus/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a panel discussion within the "Munich Security Conference" in Munich, Germany on 19 February, 2017 [Ahmet Gumus/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey on Tuesday asked the Israeli ambassador to leave the country following indiscriminate violence and killings by Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border, diplomatic sources said.

The Foreign Ministry summoned Ambassador Eitan Naeh and told him it would be “appropriate” for him to return to his country “for a while”, said the sources, who refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, reports Anadolu Agency.

At least 60 Palestinian demonstrators were martyred and thousands more injured by Israeli forces.

READ: Turkish foreign minister criticises US’ Jerusalem move

Thousands of Palestinians have gathered on Gaza Strip’s eastern border since Monday morning to take part in protests aimed to commemorate the Nakba anniversary and protest relocating of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since the border rallies began on March 30, more than 90 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The rallies are to culminate on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “the Catastrophe”.

Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing border protests constituted a “state of war” in which international humanitarian law did not apply.

READ: US ‘lost Middle East mediator role’ with embassy move

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