Turkey says it will no longer mediate between Tel Aviv and Damascus, stating that the Israeli attacks on Gaza has made peace 'impossible'.
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"The continuation of the talks under these conditions is naturally impossible," Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told reporters after a meeting with visiting Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit.
"Waging war against Palestinians while negotiating peace with Syria - these two cannot go together," he added, pointing out that Ankara was greatly 'disappointed' with Israel's actions.
Babacan's remarks came just days after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited the country to discuss regional security issues.
On Sunday, a senior Syrian official also said that Israel had 'closed the door on all activity in the political process' of reaching a peace deal by massacring over 300 people in Gaza and wounding around 1,500 others.
During the weekend, Israeli fighter jets bombarded at least 30 different locations across Gaza, which included schools, a television station, a mosque, and a prison.
The deadly attacks that have sparked worldwide protests were also condemned by Ankara, the key mediator in four rounds of talks held between Damascus and Tel Aviv over the faith of the Israeli occupied Golan Heights.
"To go and bomb these defenseless people, and to openly say that this operation will be a long-lasting one, that it will be this or that, to me, is a serious crime against humanity," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
Meanwhile on Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak claimed that the regime's massive operation was in 'self-defense' and in response to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
"This operation will expand and deepen as much as needed… We went to war to deal a heavy blow to Hamas, to change the situation in the south," he said.
"We do not want to hit children and women and we will not prevent humanitarian aid" from reaching Gaza, he added.
This is while truck loads of humanitarian aid wait on outside Gaza border crossings as Israel continues to prevent the passage of vital supplies into the costal strip.
Just hours after a six-month Egypt-mediated ceasefire with Hamas ended on December 19, Israeli warplanes flew over Gaza to kick start anew round of hostilities. During the December 20 operation, a Palestinian was killed and two others were seriously wounded.
In retaliation to the attack, Hamas launched several homemade rockets into Israel, none of which led Israeli casualty. However, Israeli officials used the rocket attacks as an excuse to launch an all-out attack on the Gaza Strip on December 27.
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