Amid anti-Israel protests and Erdogan’s toxic rhetoric,
Israel brings home families of diplomats in Turkey

July 18, 2014 – 1:00 P.M.

Israel is recalling the families of diplomats in Ankara and Istanbul following violent protests outside the embassy and consulate in those cities Thursday night, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Friday.

Israel also decided to fuhrer reduce its diplomatic entourage in Turkey, which is already small following Turkey’s expulsion of Israel’s ambassador following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

Rocks were thrown and windows broken during the Thursday night protests, which followed virulent comments made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who accused Israel of attempting “systematic genocide” against the Palestinians in Gaza.

In one incident the Israel flag was ripped down from the ambassador’s residence in Ankara, and replaced with a Palestinian one.

A statement from Liberman’s office said that the Turkish security officials did not take action to prevent the violence, and said that Turkey was responsible for the well-being of the diplomats who remain there. .

Liberman directed the Foreign Ministry to gravely protest the Turkish inaction, a violation of various international treaties meant to protect diplomats.

One official said it was ironic that Turkey wants to now play a role in mediating a cease-fire.

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