Biden has ‘bloody hands’ for backing Israel, Erdoğan says
Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday condemned his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden for his approval of weapons sales to Israel while vowing Turkey’s continued support of Palestinians during the latest bout of conflict between the sides.
"Today we have witnessed Biden’s approval of weapons (sales) to Israel,’’ A Haber cited Erdoğan as saying. "You (Biden) are writing history with bloody hands.’’
Erdoğan’s remarks arrive as Biden's administration on Monday approved the potential sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel, Reuters reported citing U.S. congressional sources.
Erdoğan also condemned the government of Austria, for hoisting the Israeli flag on their prime ministry building, saying it was unbefitting of a government to display the flag of a "terrorist state.’’
Turkey has always called for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Erdoğan said, adding that Ankara would continue exerting efforts for the formation of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.
Saying he was inspired by an Ottoman model, Erdoğan called for Jerusalem to be governed by a commission comprising religious leaders of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Such a model would be the best solution given today’s circumstances, the Turkish president said, noting that otherwise it does not seem possible to obtain "lasting peace in this ancient city.’’
The latest hostilities between the sides flared after Hamas, which rules the besieged Gaza Strip, issued an ultimatum last week, urging Israel stand down its security forces from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City after a violent crackdown against Palestinians.
Subsequent Israeli air raids on Gaza City have pushed the death toll in the latest bout of tensions to near 200, including 58 children.
Erdoğan has long championed the Palestinian cause and been a vocal critic of the state of Israel.
The Turkish president last week called Israel a "terror state" following the Al-Aqsa attacks, while stepping up efforts to rally opposition to Israel.