Ankara condemns Israel’s removal of plaque in Jerusalem
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
The removal by Israeli police of a plaque featuring the Turkish flag at a cemetery in East Jerusalem reflects their anger towards the country’s national symbol, Turkey’s communications director said on June 24.
"The removal of TIKA’s plaque at Yusufiye Cemetery by Israeli police in Jerusalem is a manifestation of the deep anger they felt toward our crescent-star flag, which is the refuge of the oppressed all over the world. The reason for this hate is quite well-known," Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.
Earlier, Israeli authorities destroyed the plaque, which had been placed on a wall at the cemetery by the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency.
The plaque was installed at Yusufiye Cemetery, which belongs to Muslims, after a restoration project there to mark Turkey's contribution to the site.
TIKA later commented on the issue on Twitter, saying: "The removal of the TİKA sign on the perimeter wall of the historical Yusufiye Cemetery, which was restored by TİKA in #Jerusalem, is an illegal act of those uncomfortable with the presence of #Turkey's efforts exerted for peace and prosperity in the region."
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, making all Jewish settlements there illegal.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government would formally annex the Jordan Valley and all settlement blocs in the West Bank.
Palestinian officials have threatened to abolish bilateral agreements with Israel if it goes ahead with the annexation plan, which would further undermine the two-state solution.
The annexation plan came as part of U.S. President Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century," which was announced on Jan. 28. It refers to Jerusalem as "Israel's undivided capital" and recognizes Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank.
The plan calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the form of an archipelago connected through bridges and tunnels.
Palestinian officials say that under the U.S. plan, Israel will annex 30%-40% of the West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem.