Turkey says Israel must be held accountable for its crimes in Gaza


Turkey said the international community must hold Israel to account for crimes it has committed against Palestinians in Gaza.

Such action is the only way to end “the pain and tears experienced in Palestine”, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on Friday.

A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas came into effect early on Friday, ending 11 days of bombardments and violence that killed more than 250 people, the overwhelming majority of them in Gaza.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has perhaps been the sternest critic of Israel among world leaders during the conflict. On Friday, he repeated an assertion that Israel is a “terrorist state” in comments carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The Foreign Ministry said Turkey welcomed the ceasefire and called for a solution based on the existence of two states.

“We expect the international community, especially the members of the UN Security Council, to take action to end this persecution completely,” it said.

Erdoğan’s criticism of Israel, which has included comments asserting that Israel was only satisfied with “sucking the blood” of five and six-year-old children, have sparked controversy and condemnation.

On Monday, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Erdoğan’s remarks amounted to anti-Semitism. The statement prompted stern rebukes from senior Turkish officials and ministers.



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