Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking (R) 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinians across the political spectrum over the weekend welcomed Ankara’s
decision to expel the Israeli ambassador and to freeze security pacts with
Many Palestinians also voiced hope that Jordan and Egypt, the
only Arab countries that have peace treaties with Israel, would follow the
Turkish example and cut off all relations with Israel.
on the other hand, expressed disappointment over a UN report that justified the
Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.RELATED:Turkey vows legal action against Israelis involved in
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Report'Turkey may cut economic ties over 'Marmara'
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said that
the report was the “result of American and Israeli pressure” on the
“This report is clearly biased against the Palestinians and the
Turkish people,” he said, referring to the UN Commission report into the
flotilla incident headed by Geoffrey Palmer, former prime minister of New
“A country that allows its citizens to be killed like the Turks
who were killed on the flotilla, and maintains its relations with the killers,
risks losing its credibility among the people,” Zahar said. “It’s only logical
that Turkey expel the Israeli ambassador and cut off its relations with the
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the decision was a
“natural response to the Israeli crime against the flotilla and refusal to end
the siege on the Gaza Strip.”
The Popular Resistance Committees in the
Gaza Strip also welcomed the decision and hailed Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan for his continued support for the Palestinians. Turkey was today
a major ally of the Palestinians, the PRC said.
Another group, Ansar al-
Mujahedeen (Supporters of the Warriors), called on Ankara to completely cut off
diplomatic relations with Israel and restore its status as a major player in the
Weam Matar, a political analyst, said: “Thank you Turkey, thank
you, Erdogan, for refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the siege on the Gaza
Strip. The Zionists are not used to such firm positions and that’s why
they have considered themselves above the law."
Abdel Bari Atwan, editor
of the London-based Palestinian daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi
, said that that “this was
the first time in decades that an Islamic country dares to confront Israeli
arrogance with such force and firmness.”
Israel “considers itself a
superpower with immunity against international sanctions. That’s why it
has been treating the Arabs and Muslims with disdain,” he said.
the position of many other Palestinians, Atwan urged Egypt and Jordan to follow
suit and cut off all relations with Israel.
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb
Erekat condemned the UN report as political, AFP reported on
“This report is terrible and negative. It’s a purely political
report, it’s not legal,” Erekat said. “It’s a political report that is not based
on international law, but on the contrary, it violates international law,
because the Gaza Strip is still under Israeli occupation,” he told
AFP.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.