Middle East

Turkey's Davutoglu to visit Gaza Tuesday

Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (R) and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attend a joint news conference in Mogadishu November 14, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Faruk

ANKARA, Nov 19, 2012 (AFP) - Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will pay a visit Tuesday to the Gaza Strip, which has been battered by a deadly Israeli air bombardment in six days of violence between Israel and Palestinian militants, the foreign ministry said.

Davutoglu's trip is part of an Arab League initiative, the Anatolia news agency said, referring to a planned visit Tuesday by a delegation from the bloc and its leader Nabil al-Arabi in a show of support for Gaza.

A Turkish foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the visit to AFP but gave no further details.

Davutoglu, who has branded the Israeli military offensive in Gaza a "crime against humanity", agreed on the visit during a meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Cairo on Sunday, Anatolia said.

Turkey has fallen out with its former regional ally Israel after Israeli commandos raided a Gaza-bound Turkish ship in May 2010, leaving nine people dead.

Ninety Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes on the impoverished Gaza Strip since violence erupted on Wednesday. Three people have been killed in Israel by Palestinian rocket fire.





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