Turkey slams US for calling Israeli attacks 'self-defense'
Turkey’s communications director criticized the U.S. early on May 12 for considering Israeli attacks on Palestinians self-defense.
"Massacring civilians. Forcing Palestinians to leave their homes and occupying their lands. Attacking mosques. Murdering innocent children. Since when are all those atrocities considered self-defense?" Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.
"Does the U.S. have not any reaction to these massacres and terrorist acts?" he said.
The Biden administration on May 11 called for calm and restraint by Israel and the Palestinians, and urged both sides to avoid "deeply lamentable" civilian deaths.
But "Israel does have a right to defend itself," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
The flare-up in violence is putting Biden on a tightrope not only diplomatically but also at home, where progressives in his Democratic Party are increasingly vocal in criticism of Israel, which enjoyed zealous support from former president Donald Trump.
'Common struggle against Israeli persecution'
Turkey’s presidential spokesman on May 11 encouraged a common struggle against Israeli attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.
“All Muslims, Christians, and Jews with common sense and conscience must fight together to stop Israel's occupation and persecution and the violations of fanatical Jews,” İbrahim Kalın said on Twitter.
Sharing a joint statement by the patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem, he said the churches in the holy city jointly demanded that Israel put an end to its violence and provocative actions.
They urged the international community to intervene and end the tension in the holy city created mainly by right-wing radical groups.
Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem since last week, when an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families, which was later delayed.
Palestinians protesting in solidarity with residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.
The escalation resulted in airstrikes by Israel on Gaza, which has left scores of people dead and hundreds of others wounded.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognized by the international community.