İhsanoğlu condemns UN, stresses disproportionate use of force by Israel in Gaza

İhsanoğlu condemns UN, stresses disproportionate use of force by Israel in Gaza

İhsanoğlu condemns UN, stresses disproportionate use of force by Israel in Gaza

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu made a visit to the Palestinian Embassy in Ankara, July 15. AA Photo

Turkey’s presidential hopeful Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the former chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has criticized the U.N. Security Council for its failure to condemn the “disproportionate” use of force by Israel against the Palestinians.

Speaking to reporters following a visit to the Palestinian Embassy in Ankara on July 15, İhsanoğlu also urged Hamas to act in line with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ positive stance toward the Security Council’s cease-fire suggestion and to collaborate with the international community.

“While demanding this cease-fire, it hasn’t condemned the disproportionate use of force,” İhsanoğlu said, citing this matter as “a major shortcoming” of the July 12 call by the 15-member Security Council, which anonymously called for a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

When reminded of the rejection of an Egypt-proposed cease-fire by the armed wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, İhsanoğlu expressed his regret. “I wish Hamas had displayed a stance in line with the positive stance of Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas’ cooperation with the international community will be useful for healing wounds and building peace in the daily life.”
After questions on his reported remarks concerning the importance of “impartiality” in Turkey’s foreign policy, İhsanoğlu stressed that his remarks were “taken out of context.”

“What I said is about the fights among our Arab brothers. Turkey had a historical responsibility
concerning Palestine before 1948 too. Starting from 1948, it has made important contributions to Palestine. The governments of Turkey should support the peace process. Peace in the Middle East means peace for everybody,” he said.

“You cannot be impartial between the brutal and the oppressed. You cannot be impartial between the oppressor and the victim. Impartiality regarding the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people is out of question,” he added.

The presidential hopeful, meanwhile, did not shy away from praising the government’s efforts to provide assistance to the Palestinian people.

“I appreciate Turkey’s assistance for the Palestinian people, especially for the people of Gaza, and for the building of peace. The stance of the opposition should be in line with national interests on foreign policy issues and in national issues. If there is a mistake in some of the policies, then explaining those mistakes is [the opposition’s] duty, like every citizen,” he said.

The Palestinian Embassy, meanwhile, released a written statement after İhsanoğlu’s visit.

“Ambassador [Nabil] Maarouf thanked the presidential candidate İhsanoğlu for his visit and his sympathy for Palestine, recalling at the same time, the stance of the Turkish people and government and their solid position in support of the Palestinian cause,” the statement said.

 “Ambassador Maarouf also briefed İhsanoğlu on the role of the Turkish government and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in support of the Palestinian people in their struggle against oppression and aggression practiced by the Israeli occupation. The latest was the government’s swift response to recent developments in the Gaza Strip and the instructions to provide urgent medical and humanitarian aid to the people in the Gaza Strip,” it added.