Turkey aims UNGA meeting for Palestine
As expected, the United Nations Security Council was prevented from producing any concrete measures to stop Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians and the holy sites in Jerusalem. The council was scheduled to hold its meeting yesterday, which was blocked by the United States twice in the past week.
Let alone a Security Council resolution in the face of increased civilian death toll resulting from indiscriminate Israeli aggression, the U.S. also blocked a U.N. presidential statement. This support encourages the Israeli government’s attacks.
The death toll is increasing as diplomatic obstacles persist. Around 181 Palestinians were reportedly killed by the Israeli security forces, which have destroyed around 200 premises and houses in Gaza, including health institutions and a media tower. Israeli attacks lead to a more severe humanitarian picture as thousands of Palestinians had to leave their homes in Gaza. They also targeted a media office in Gaza in a direct blow against the freedom of the media.
What the international community can do against these is limited. EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell has admitted that the EU has no role to play when it comes to stopping the Israeli attacks, although he could secure a meeting of the foreign ministers next week.
The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held an extraordinary executive-committee meeting on May 16, with no expectation that its resolutions will have an effect on Israel. It will be seen to what extent the ongoing crisis will affect the normalization process between Israel and some Arab countries as well.
As Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told his counterparts at the virtual meeting, Turkey is trying to take the lead in mobilizing the international community as it did in 2018 after the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Convening the U.N. General Assembly seems to be Turkey’s primary objective. As known, the General Assembly can be called for a special meeting with the signatures of more than half countries represented at the U.N. Volkan Bozkır, a former senior Turkish diplomat who is currently the president of the U.N. General Assembly, can facilitate such a meeting, Ankara believes.
There are expectations that the U.N. General Assembly can meet this week, and Çavuşoğlu is planning to physically attend it. Plus, the grave consequences of the Israeli attacks can be brought to the attention of the U.N. Human Rights Commission as well as UNESCO and other relevant bodies.
The main message that Turkey has been giving is that the international community has a duty and responsibility towards the protection of the Palestinians. It’s not perhaps possible to deploy a peace force to Jerusalem, but it’s always possible to impose a united and decisive diplomatic pressure on Israel.