Israeli operation overshadows peace efforts says Turkish prime minister .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has slammed Israel on Sunday the weekend air strikes launched on the Gaza Strip and said the operations have overshadowed ongoing peace efforts. (UPDATED)

Israeli war planes and helicopters pounded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in a two-day long operation, killing at least 280 people and prompting rocket fire from Palestinian militants that killed an Israeli.

"Such steps that harm the lives of innocent civilians will only retract from peace efforts no matter what aim it has," Erdogan said adding that this operation would create outrage in the Islamic world, and detract from ongoing solution efforts to regional issues.

Erdogan also said the recent operation overshadowed ongoing peace efforts and called on Israel to reverse this mistake and end the air operations.

Turkey urges its regional ally Israel to stop the siege in Gaza where tensions have mounted since the expiry of a truce. Turkish leaders have also called on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to stop its military offensive in the region, during his visit to Turkey at the beginning of this week.

Turkey has been mediating between Syria and Israel in a bid to facilitating direct talks between two countries.

Turkey is monitoring the developments closely and taking the necessary steps he also said, adding that the country’s humanitarian aid to Palestine would continue. "We, as Turkey, will continue our humanitarian aid efforts for our Palestinian brothers with the same determination."

"We are taking steps. At the moment the Health Ministry has stepped in. We informed them that we are ready to bring injured Palestinians to Turkey for treatment."

Erdogan also urged the international community not to stay silent against the incidents and called on the United Nations to step in. "We urge the international community not to stay silent against this tragedy," the prime minister said.