Muslim countries should review ties with Israel: Turkish PM

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Muslim countries should review their ties with Israel, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on May 15, a day after Israeli security forces killed 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border, with Ankara calling its envoys from Washington D.C. and Tel Aviv to hold an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on May 18.

“Muslim countries should absolutely review their ties with Israel. The Islamic world should display unity and togetherness against these villains. Turkey has not remained and will not remain silent against this cruelty,” Yıldırım said at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group meeting on May 15.

Turkey strongly condemned the U.S. for moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and Israel for killing more than 60 Palestinians on May 14.

Yıldırım described the crackdown against Palestinian protestors as Israeli state terror and accused the U.S. of fueling tension in the Middle East.

Yıldırım announced that the Turkish government decided to take measures on the Jerusalem issue, while saying that they are in preparations for an extraordinary meeting of the OIC in Istanbul on May 18.

Serving as the OIC term president, Turkey had initiated an extraordinary summit in Istanbul in December 2017 to protest the U.S. decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in violation of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a phone conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas late May 14 to discuss recent developments in the region. State-run Anadolu Agency reported that Erdoğan would hold phone conversations with other world leaders, including U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Turkey’s diplomatic activities will also include initiatives for the convention of the U.N. General Assembly to discuss the U.S. move and the killings of Palestinians by Israeli security forces.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will reportedly conduct works for the evacuation of injured Palestinians to Turkey.

More than 1,500 Palestinians were wounded in the protests on May 14.

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