Turkey's prime minister on Sunday denounced Israel's air assault on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip as a "crime against humanity" and called for them to end.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of using "disproportionate force" and said the attacks were a "blow to peace."
"To go and bomb these defenseless people, and to openly say that this operation will be a long-lasting one, that it will be this or that, to me, is a serious crime against humanity," Erdogan said at a meeting of his ruling Islamic-rooted party.
Turkey is Israel's closest ally in the Muslim world but Erdogan said he was appalled that the attacks came as his country was mediating peace talks between Syria and Israel. He said the attacks were a "show of disrespect" toward Turkey.