Qatar, Turkey working on Gaza truce

August 04, 2014 - 2:27:36 am
The Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah (left) with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.

DOHA: Qatar and Turkey have joined hands and are making efforts for a ceasefire in Gaza and to ensure that the Palestinian people are protected, Al Sharq said yesterday.

The Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah held talks with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, on latest developments in Gaza and the region.

Al Sharq cited diplomatic sources as saying that both leaders discussed how to de-escalate tension and normalise the situation following Israeli attacks in Gaza. The close-door meeting lasted three hours. 

Both ministers had a teleconference with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, at the end of their meeting. Davutoglu received Dr Al Attiyah at his ministry in Ankara on Saturday. 

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Qatar and Turkey were making joint efforts towards a ceasefire in Gaza.

Meanwhile, an Israeli air strike killed 10 people and wounded about 30 in a UN-run school in the southern Gaza Strip, a Palestinian official said, as dozens died in Israeli shelling of the enclave and Hamas fired rockets at Israel.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the attack as a “moral outrage and a criminal act”. The US was “appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling” and urged Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties, according to a statement by State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. She also called for an investigation into recent attacks on UN schools.

It was the second strike on a school in less than a week.

The Israeli military said it had “targeted three Islamic Jihad terrorists on board a motorcycle in the vicinity of an UNRWA school in Rafah” and added it was “reviewing the consequences of this strike.” “We are redeploying and regrouping, and we have extensive forces on the ground in Gaza and on the border at this time,” Israeli Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said. Troops were “awaiting further orders and preparing a course of action for the next stage,” he said. 

Israel announced a seven-hour humanitarian truce in most of Gaza starting at 10am (local time) today.

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