Erdogan slams Israel’s ‘thuggery, state terror’

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    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday described the Israeli killings of Palestinians as "thuggery, atrocity and state terror".

    In his opening address at the ongoing extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Erdogan said: "I clearly say: what Israel did is thuggery, atrocity and state terror."

    He said Israel must be held accountable before international justice for the innocent people it slaughtered.

    "To take action for Palestinians massacred by Israeli bandits is to show the whole world that humanity is not dead."

    The Turkish president pointed out that condemnation, which never stopped, would not end the occupation and persecution in Palestine.

    "No one will give us a silver platter until Muslims claim their rights," Erdogan added.

    For his part, the OIC Secretary General, Yousef al-Othaimeen, called for opening an international probe into Israeli violence in Gaza.

    "An international probe into the crimes Israel committed against Gaza is an urgent and fair demand, and the aggressor should be sanctioned and held accountable," he said.

    Al-Othaimeen affirmed "the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people due to the Israeli ongoing violations in the international occupation territories".

    He added Muslim people everywhere await real action that "puts an end to the Israeli open aggression against Palestinian people".

    He also rejected the U.S. move to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, adding that "we have to emphasize the illegality of the U.S. move".

    Jordanian King Abdullah II called for adopting urgent measures to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people.

    Solidarity with Palestinians urged

    "I call on Arab and Muslim countries to take urgent measures to support the Palestinian people, especially on the economic level," he said.

    "The international community should bear responsibility towards the Palestinian people and support them in their rights.

    "We will reiterate our firm position that Jerusalem is still an occupied territory…," adding that "the Jordanian trusteeship over holy places in Jerusalem would continue and we would repulse any bid to change the reality in the occupied city."

    Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah, for his part, said: "There can be no peace and stability in the region before the freedom of Jerusalem and its people."

    Addressing the opening session of the OIC, Al-Hamdallah added the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem was "an act of aggression against the Islamic nation, against Muslims and Christians".

    "The U.S. has clearly expressed its disrespect for the Palestinian people and for the feelings of Muslims around the world.

    "We look forward to a comprehensive probe into the Israeli violations against the Palestinians since the U.S. President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem [late in December]."

    He also urged the UN for international protection for Palestinians and to probe the Israeli killings in Gaza.

    Speaking during the session, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered to call a special UN session over Israeli killings, and take political, economic measures against Israel and the U.S.

    Pakistani PM urges unity

    Pakistani Premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, for his part, said: “We need to reach out to other states and groupings to sustain support for the just cause of the Palestinians, put an end to continued killings and state terrorism and build an independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.”

    Abbasi said their response to the Palestinian cause should be “multi-pronged and well-considered”.

    He said “it is essential to reaffirm and renew our full solidarity and unity among and between our countries and people. We must also set aside our political differences.”

    “On the diplomatic front, we must continue to demand that the UN Security Council fulfill its key responsibility for implementation of its existing resolutions.”

    Monday's protests in Gaza coincided with Israel's 70th anniversary — an event Palestinians refer to as Nakba or the "Catastrophe" — and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    Since the mass Gaza rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian protesters have been martyred by Israeli army gunfire.

    Last week, the Israeli government claimed that the ongoing protests constituted a "state of war" in which international humanitarian law does not apply.

    Prime ministers of Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan took their place in the meeting, while Uzbekistan, Algeria, and Sudan were represented at the parliamentary and senate level.

    Also, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia, Oman, Libya, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, Kazakhstan, Comoros, Maldives and Tajikistan were represented at the foreign ministerial level.

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