Turkey will not turn its back on Palestinian cause, says Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday reiterated that Turkey will not “turn its back” on the Palestinian cause or people, adding that Ankara is prepared to share "all means available" for ending the occupation, independent news site T24 reported.
Erdoğan’s statements arrived as he received Arab members of the Israeli parliament in İstanbul, following a decision by Israel on Feb.1 to terminate the mandate of international monitors in the West Bank town of Hebron, according to presidential sources.
The Turkish president thanked the Knesset members for their service of representing the Palestinian will in Israel's legislative body while encouraging the group to work in solidarity in the face of the law defining Israel as a Jewish state, T24 said.
The legislation, while promoting Hebrew as the only official language, strips Arabic as an official language, granting it "special status" in the country with the capital of "united Jerusalem."
Ankara strongly condemned Israel’s unilateral termination of the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), the multilateral observation mission in Hebron, Palestine, citing that the group was working against Israel.
The establishment of the TIPH in Hebron was based on the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians, which called for an international observer force in the city.
"The TIPH, in which observers from Turkey have participated since it started operations in 1997, has made valuable contributions to easing the tension in Hebron under Israeli occupation," the Turkish foreign ministry said.
Erdoğan has been an outspoken critic of Israel and a vocal supporter of Palestinians.
Turkey and Israel were embroiled in a war of words in December after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of committing “massacres” against Kurdish populations.