Erdogan told his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, during a telephone conversation, that “collectively and indiscriminately targeting the people of Gaza will only increase the suffering and reinforce the spiral of violence in the region”, according to a statement from the Turkish presidency.

The Turkish leader — who is an outspoken supporter of the Palestinian cause and favors a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — absented himself from a weekly ministerial meeting for emergency diplomatic telephone talks on the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Erdogan also spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

The Turkish President assured that “Turkey will continue its efforts to end the conflict”, according to a statement issued after the conversation with Abbas.

The Islamic group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israeli territory on Saturday, called operation “Al-Aqsa Storm”, with the launch of thousands of rockets and the incursion of armed militiamen by land, sea and air.

In response to the surprise attack, Israel bombed several Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip from the air, in an operation it dubbed “Iron Swords”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is “at war” with Hamas.

The most recent report from the Palestinian Ministry of Health recorded at least 560 deaths due to Israeli air strikes in Gaza — including dozens of minors and women — bringing the total number of deaths on both sides following the armed clashes to more than 1,250. started on Saturday.

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