Turkey never to stop backing Palestine: Foreign minister
Ankara will never stop supporting the Palestinian cause, the Turkish foreign minister said on May 18.
"Under the leadership of our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan], and with the power vested in us by our parliament, we will never give up supporting the Palestinian cause," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told lawmakers in parliament.
"Turkey is pioneering diplomatic efforts on the Palestine issue and will continue to be the voice of conscience and justice in the world," he said.
Asserting that the atmosphere in Turkey on the Palestine issue was one of joint solidarity, Çavuşoğlu said: "We need to be sensitive on preserving this."
"It is the duty of all of us to be careful not to carry this issue into the competitive language of domestic politics and not to make oppressed people happy who have the same mentality with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu," he said.
He said that the international community's reaction to Israel's attacks on Palestine was "weak" and added that some countries had "closed their eyes to the war crimes" committed by Tel Aviv as they "put Israel's security first."
Çavuşoğlu also congratulated the staff of Anadolu Agency and TRT, Turkey's public broadcaster, "who wholeheartedly work in life-threatening danger on the field."
"We're closely concerned with the humanitarian situation that has worsened as a result of the indiscriminate attacks of Israel. Our humanitarian aid organizations, especially TIKA [Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency] and the Red Crescent, are trying to alleviate the pain of our Palestinian brothers and sisters despite difficult conditions.
"They work hard in the field. They deliver all kinds of aid including food, hot meals, medicine, hygiene, kitchen equipment to our brothers and sisters in difficult conditions," he added.
The total number of people killed in the ongoing Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip has risen to 213, including 61 children, 36 women, and 16 elderly people, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Tuesday. As many as 1,400 people have also been injured in the attacks.
The Israeli military has staged airstrikes since May 10, leaving behind a massive trail of destruction. Media offices and health centers are among the structures targeted.
Tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.