Israel rejects Turkish aid drop request for Gaza, FM says

Israel rejected Turkey's appeal to participate in air drops delivering humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, prompting Ankara to announce plans for retaliatory actions against Israel, according to Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan.

Israeli military destroys Palestinian city Khan Yunis after four months of occupation.

Duvar English

Israel has denied Turkey's request to join air drops of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, and Ankara will take new measures against Israel in response, its Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on April 8.

Turkey, which has denounced Israel for its offensive in the densely populated Gaza Strip and called for an immediate ceasefire, has sent tens of thousands of tons of humanitarian aid there since the start of the Israel's siege on Gaza in October.

The United States started dropping deliveries of aid into Gaza by air last month, with the Netherlands, France, Spain and others contributing.

"We also conveyed our request to be included in this humanitarian aid operation with (Turkish) air forces' cargo planes. Today we learnt that our request was rejected by Israel, despite a positive approach by the Jordanian authorities," Fidan said in a statement to the media.

Israeli authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"There is no excuse for Israel to block our attempt to drop aid to starving Gazans," Fidan said, adding that Turkey has decided to take a "series of new measures" against Israel.

"These measures, approved by our president, will be implemented step by step, without delay," Fidan said, without elaborating.

"The measures to be announced by our relevant institutions will continue until Israel declares a ceasefire and allows humanitarian aid to reach Gaza without interruption," he said.

As of April 8, Israeli forces killed at least 33,207 Palestinians and wounded 75,933 in Gaza during its carpet bombardment targeting particularly civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 8 announced that they will attack Rafah city where approximately 1.5 million Palestinian has taken refuge as Israeli military continue to destroy civilian cities in Gaza Strip.