Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly condemned Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinians, said on Saturday Israel was a “terror state” after Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinian protesters at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.
Oktay said Muslims had a responsibility to act.
“Everyone who does not display a clear stance against this is a party to this torment,” Oktay said. “Unfortunately, when we look at the Muslim countries that do not display this unity and togetherness, everyone there who does not display a clear stance is a party to this.”
As demonstrations against Israeli violence proliferate in Turkey despite the curfew, Erdogan engaged is compatriot Vladimir Putin for join action.
He has reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the international community should give Israel a “strong and deterrent lesson” for its actions against the Palestinians, according to reports.
The Turkish Presidential Communications Directorate said the two leaders talked by phone Wednesday about the conflict. Erdogan emphasized the need for “the international community to give Israel a strong and deterrent lesson” and called on the U.N. Security Council to step in with “determined and clear messages” to Israel, according to Turkish officials.
He also suggested to Putin that an international protection force should be considered to shield the Palestinians, The Associated Press reported.
Erdogan previously condemned Israel’s over recent actions, calling the country a “cruel terrorist state.”
“Israel, the cruel terrorist state, attacks the Muslims in Jerusalem, whose only concern is to protect their homes and their sacred values, in a savage manner devoid of ethics,” Erdogan said, according to VOA.
His comments came as hundreds of protesters gathered at Israel’s consulate in Istanbul Monday following violent clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian worshippers around the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Those at the protest chanted, “Down with Israel, down with America,” Reuters reported.
Erdogan also spoke to Middle East leaders about the rising violence. He told King Abdullah of Jordan that “inhumane” attacks against Palestinians were directed at all Muslims and that Turkey and Jordan needed to come together to stop them, according to the news organization.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces and Palestinian militants continued to engage in the largest conflict between the two groups since the 2014 war.
At least 69 Palestinians, including 16 children and six women have been killed in the fighting, Gaza’s Health Ministry said. A total of seven people have been killed in Israel, including four people who died on Wednesday. They included a soldier killed by an anti-tank missile and a 6-year-old child hit in a rocket attack.
The situation has hurt Turkey’s recent efforts to mend ties with Israel. Turkey is one of the few but growing number of countries in the region to recognize Israel, though relations have soured in recent years in part due to Turkey’s friendly relationship with Hamas.
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