Israel seeks to legalize occupation: Turkey

Israel seeks to legalize occupation: Turkey

ANKARA
Israel seeks to legalize occupation: Turkey

The spokesperson of the Turkish president has lashed out at recently-approved Jewish nation-state law, calling it as an attempt for legalization of occupation, amid international criticism.

In a column titled “Israel’s nation-state bill is racist” for Daily Sabah newspaper, İbrahim Kalın said the legislation is a sign that Israel sees itself above the international law.

“With the full backing of the Trump administration, the Netanyahu government shamelessly seeks to legalize occupation and antagonize the entire Muslim world,” Kalın wrote in his column.

Approved by Knesset, the Israeli parliament, on July 19, the legislatin recognizes Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people.”

Describing it as racist legislation and advocate of an official apartheid system, the presidential aide said: “It is the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution.”

The legislation also states that a “united Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel and that Hebrew is the country’s official language, stripping Arabic of its earlier designation as an official language while recognizing its “special status.”

This is “another slap” in the face of the international community and the U.N. resolutions rejecting illegal occupation of Jerusalem and Palestinian lands, Kalın said.

Also touching on Netanyahu’s remarks at the Israeli parliament, Kalın said it was “a confession of the Zionist project” that would continue at the expense of the lives, lands and freedom of the Palestinian people.

After the passage of the bill, Nethanyahu told the Knesset: “This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel.”

Saying that the remarks amounts to erasing the Palestinian people from their homeland physically and legally, Kalin called on the world to reject the legislation.

Israeli Druze Members of the Knesset announced that they will lodge an appeal against the controversial law.

According to Maariv daily on July 22, three MKs have decided to object the controversial law at the Supreme Court.

“I have no problem with the Jews and the fact that Israel is the state of the Jews,” MK Akram Hasson from Kulanu Party told Maariv.

“What about the Druze, who sacrificed and fought for Israel’s sake, 240 of whom were killed and more than 1,200 injured during their service in the army?”

The Druze community has been living in northern Israel since 1948 and serve in the obligatory service of the Israeli army and consider themselves Israelis above all else. Exception to that is the Druze of Syrian Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in 1967, which remained bound to their Arab identity.

Separately, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced concern over “escalating violence” between Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas.

“I am gravely concerned over the dangerous escalation of violence in Gaza and southern Israel,” Guterres said in a statement on July 21.

He said: “I deeply regret the loss of life. It is imperative that all sides urgently step back from the brink of another devastating conflict.”

Earlier on July 21, Hamas announced a cease-fire deal between Palestinian resistance factions and Israel to ease tension in the Palestinian territory.

Israel will reopen its only goods crossing with the blockaded Gaza Strip on July 24 if calm is maintained, the defence minister said, after having closed it July 9 partly over kites carrying firebombs.

“If today and tomorrow the situation continues as it was yesterday, then on Tuesday we will allow Kerem Shalom to return to normal activity and the fishing zones will return to the same distances as before,” Avigdor Lieberman told journalists on Sunday, referring to the name of the crossing.

However, Lieberman said calm also meant an end to months of kites and balloons carrying firebombs over the border fence from Hamas to burn Israeli farmland.

Israeli authorities say hundreds of fires have been started by the firebombs since April.

Israel, Turkey, occupation