Israel rejects Turkey request to airdrop aid to Gaza: minister

Turkey on Monday said Israel had blocked its attempt to airdrop aid to Gaza, and vowed to take a series of new measures against the country.

The Turkish airforce wanted to drop part of a humanitarian aid operation through its cargo planes.

“Today we learned that our request… was rejected by Israel. There is no excuse for Israel to block our attempt to airlift aid to starving Gazans,” Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said.

“We decided to take a series of new measures against Israel,” he said, adding that they would be publicised by the relevant institutions.

Fidan said Ankara’s reprisals approved by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a vocal advocate of the Palestinian cause, would be implemented “step by step” and “without any delay”.

“These measures will be in place until Israel declares a ceasefire and allows humanitarian aid to reach Gaza uninterruptedly,” the minister said.

Erdogan has become one of the harshest critics of Israel’s war in Gaza.

He has branded Israel a “terrorist state” and compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler while calling Hamas — considered a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union — “a liberation group”.

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