Erdoğan blames Israel as truce claimed in Gaza
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Israeli soldiers watch as a missile is launched from the Iron Dome. AFP photo
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Israel of attempting to commit genocide against Palestinians through “state terrorism” while calling on Israelis who suffered in the Holocaust to stand against its administration. His comments came as Israel and militants in Gaza agreed to an Egyptian-brokered truce deal after 25 were killed by Israeli strikes.
“I am repeating my calls to Israel to end its inhuman attacks against Gaza and the Palestinian territories,” Erdoğan said yesterday during his weekly address to his parliamentary group in reference to recent Israeli air strikes on Gaza to fight militants who have launched rockets into southern Israel.
Erdoğan used the term “genocidal attempts” for the first time after previously having accused Israel of committing “state terror” against Palestinians. A slow but systematic massacre against Palestinians has been carried out since the beginning of the 20th century, Erdoğan said, adding that Turkey would continue to speak out about the massacres, the unfairness and the cruelty. Erdoğan also called on the media not to describe the Gazans who fight against Israel as “militants or terrorists” but “resisters,” saying their only aim was to defend their territories against Israeli forces.
Meanwhile, Israel and militants in Gaza agreed yesterday to an Egyptian-brokered truce deal after four days of violence in which 25 Gazans died and 200 rockets were fired at Israel, Agence France-Presse reported. Erdoğan also targeted French President Nicholas Sarkozy in his speech, calling him shameful and irresponsible for allegedly provoking xenophobia and Islamophobia just to win more votes in France’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
“We are expecting and calling on European leaders and institutions to see this dangerous rise and to take immediate measures. It’s going to be a historical mistake if Europe, which suffered a lot from fascism, remains silent to this rising and new wave of fascism,” Erdoğan said.
Israel’s visa crisis with US
Meanwhile, Israel’s parliamentary speaker called off a legislative delegation’s visit to the U.S. after Washington denied an ultranationalist lawmaker a visa, citing his links to a terror group.
Three lawmakers were to attend a women’s empowerment conference in the U.S. capital in late March. But Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin said he canceled the trip because the unrelated visa denial was “an affront to the entire Knesset.” k HDN