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Turkey calls Israeli hostage mission ‘barbaric attack’

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Turkey has condemned Israel’s operation to free its hostages in the Gaza Strip as a “barbaric attack” and accused Israel of war crimes.

“With this latest barbaric attack, Israel has added another to the list of war crimes it has committed in Gaza,” the Foreign Ministry in Ankara said on Sunday, without mentioning the hostages’ rescue.

On Saturday, the Israeli army freed four people kidnapped from Israel during the October 7 massacres. They were found in the center of the Gaza Strip after being held captive for eight months.

There were reportedly heavy airstrikes and artillery fire accompanying the rescue mission. Television images showed huge numbers of casualties and an overwhelmed hospital.

The Hamas media office said 210 Palestinians were killed and about 400 injured in Nuseirat, one of the locations where the operation took place. The information could not initially be independently verified.

The Israeli military said it was verifying the reports. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said there were fewer than 100 casualties.

The Hamas-controlled health authority and medical sources in the Gaza Strip previously spoke of 55 deaths.

Meanwhile, in Israel, families whose loved ones were killed by Hamas or remain in captivity in Gaza criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for meeting with freed hostages but not with families of other victims.

A leading opposition politician joined the criticism.

“When you are prime minister, you are the prime minister of successes and defeats,” opposition leader Yair Lapid told Israeli channel Kan on Sunday. “To only be prime minister when everything goes well and to disappear when everything doesn’t go the way you want, that’s pathetic.”

Netanyahu met with four hostages released from the Gaza Strip in the hospital on Saturday – during the Sabbath or Jewish day of rest – and had his picture taken.

However, according to media reports, families of Israelis killed in the October 7 Hamas massacre and relatives of slain hostages were angry that neither Netanyahu nor other government representatives had contacted them.

“A Prime Minister with moral values ​​would have called for comfort and strength. And to apologize for what happened under his watch,” the father of a soldier killed on October 7 wrote on X.

Asked for his opinion of Netanyahu, the father said: “I despise him, a poor person.”

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