Ahmet Davutoglu Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Hamas, rulers in the Gaza Strip, yesterday welcomed Turkey's decision to expel the Israeli ambassador as it criticised the Jewish state's siege of the enclave.

"Hamas welcomes the decision [of Turkey] to expel the Israeli ambassador and considers it as a clear answer to Israeli crimes," Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman for the movement, was quoted as saying.

Turkey said yesterday it was expelling the Israeli ambassador to Ankara and suspending all military ties with the Jewish state after a leaked UN report condemned excessive force by Israel against a Turkish-led aid flotilla heading towards the Gaza Strip on March 31, 2010.

"The time has come for Israel to pay for its stance that sees it above international laws and disregards human conscience," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.

In response to the Turkish announcement, two of the Israeli Knesset's leading Arab deputies voiced support of the decision to expel the Israeli envoy to Ankara, with Ahmad Tibi saying that "these days, whoever kills pays."

"Eventually, Israeli arrogance will lead to an apology by the most extreme and arrogant of Israel's governments," he was quoted as saying by Israeli daily Haaretz.