Turkey Evacuates Second Batch of Gaza Wounded

Israel flies 17 wounded Gazans and 17 escorts to Turkey for medical treatment, despite Turkey's connections with Hamas.

Hezki Baruch, Ari Yashar ,

Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh and Recep Tayyip Erdoga
Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh and Recep Tayyip Erdoga

The Turkish government is flying 17 wounded Arab residents of Gaza for medical treatment in Turkey on Wednesday, a day after the Hamas terrorists ruling Gaza breached a ceasefire and renewed rocket fire on Israel.

The injured will be flown out through the Ben Gurion International Airport under the cooperation of Israel. Each of the 17 Gazans will be accompanied by one family member. 

Turkey evacuated the first batch of 19 wounded and 19 escorts last Sunday. One of the 19 died of his wounds while in Turkey; his body is to be returned to Gaza on Wednesday.

During the ceasefire that was breached on Tuesday at 4 p.m. by Gaza terrorists in a three-rocket salvo on Be'er Sheva, Turkey made an official request to Israel to transfer the wounded for medical treatment.

The request was approved by the Foreign Ministry, and was carried out as Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulances transferred the wounded and their escorts to Ben Gurion airport, from there to fly to Turkey.

The 17 wounded were diagnosed by Turkish doctors in Gaza hospitals, and after being found fit for the voyage were transferred by local Arabs to the Erez Crossing and the waiting Israeli ambulances.

Turkey has played a problematic role in the conflict, overtaking Iran as the key Hamas sponsor in 2012. It was revealed Monday that Israel foiled a coup attempt initiated by the Hamas headquarters in Turkey to overthrow the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile, newly elected Turkish President and former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made a slew of anti-Semitic remarks over Operation Protective Edge, threatening to end the normalization process with Israel over "state terrorism."

He has also accused Israel of "lies" because "not enough" Israeli Jews have died in the conflict, and has compared Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked to Adolf Hitler.

A Turkish "aid package" to Gaza late last month turned out to contain cement mixers and ball bearings, which are used to build terror tunnels and as shrapnel in Qassam rockets.