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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Israeli-Turkish relations tense as Erdogan says Qassams don't kill
Relations between Israel and Turkey have become very tense in the last two days, after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that no Israelis have been killed by Qassam missiles, while every Israel Defense Forces attack in the Gaza Strip kills dozens of Palestinians.
Senior Foreign Ministry officials Wednesday issued a protest to Turkey's ambassador to Israel, Namik Tan, and requested clarifications of Erdogan's remarks.
"Israel is very disappointed by Erdagan's statements in light of the friendly relations between the two countries. ... Israel expects a different response from a state that itself is fighting terror," a senior Foreign Ministry official told Tam, in conveying the official protest. In addition, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is expected to speak to her Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, and a phone conversation between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Erdogan is being contemplated.
Senior sources in Jerusalem expressed anger about Erdogan's comments.
Erdogan was critical of Israel's closing the Gaza Strip border as well as IDF operations in the area.
"The Palestinian territories are like an open-air prison, they are under siege from Israel," he said in a televised speech to lawmakers Wednesday.