Turkish FM Gul criticizes Hamas

"The Palestinian gov't should have condemned the latest attack in Israel."

April 19, 2006 19:06
turkish foreign minister in ramallah

abdullah gul 88.298ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


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Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on Wednesday criticized the Palestinians' new Hamas government for refusing to denounce the suicide bombing earlier this week in Tel Aviv by the Islamic Jihad. The bombing outside Falafel Rosh Ha'ir (Mayor's Falafel) fast food restaurant killed nine people and wounded dozens. "The Palestinian government should also have condemned the latest attack in Israel," Gul said in an interview on Turkey's CNN-Turk television. "If it had condemned it, it would have been a great opportunity for a solution." Turkey was criticized earlier this year for inviting an exiled Hamas leader to Ankara for meetings. Hamas, which won Palestinian legislative elections in January, is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. Turkey has close historical and military ties with Israel and often positions itself as a mediator in conflicts between the Islamic world and the West. Turkey defended its meeting with the Hamas leader, saying it was working to stop the violence between Israelis and Palestinians. "The result is the same whether the blood being shed is Muslim or Jewish," Gul told CNN-Turk. "We are working to stop this. Is that bad?"

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