turkish PM Erdogan 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his harsh criticism of Israel on Thursday, accusing the Jewish state of attempting a “systematic genocide” of Palestinians in Gaza.
“We have been witnessing this systematic genocide every Ramadan since 1948. The world remains silent because those who lost their lives are Palestinian,” Erdogan told a meeting of Islamic scholars in Istanbul to mark Ramadan, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Erdogan also said that the UN was not doing enough to help the Palestinians.
“Do you hear the voice of the United Nations? They are doing something only for a show. Is there executive action? No. Why was the United Nations established? For world peace. Does it make a contribution to world peace?” he said.
The Turkish prime minister then blamed Muslim countries for not doing enough to stop the bloodshed.
“When the West remains silent, the Islamic world watches too,” he said, adding that “Some Islamic countries are content with what is happening in Palestine today.”
This seemed to be a swipe at Egypt, which has had tense relations with Hamas since the ousting of former Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.
Turkey opposed the coup led by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Meanwhile, Turkey and Qatar, which are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and hence closer to Hamas, are working on their own cease-fire deal, a Turkish diplomat told the Hurriyet Daily News.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu rejected the accusation by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday that Turkey and Qatar had sabotaged Egypt’s cease-fire proposal.
“Israel is not only invading Palestine but also he [Lieberman] is saying that Palestinian people need to be evacuated or exiled. If this or Israel’s air-strikes, which have killed children in Gaza, are not sabotage then what is?” said Davutoglu, Turkey’s Yeni Safak website reported on Thursday.
Davutoglu also accused Israel of ethnic cleansing in a TV interview on Wednesday.
“The Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip are ethnic cleansing and a crime against humanity,” he said according to Yeni Safak.
Referencing the failure of the Egyptian proposed cease-fire on Tuesday, which was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas, he said: “No one discussed the cease-fire with Hamas or any other factions in Palestine.”
Davutoglu also complained on Wednesday that Europe and the US were taking “pro-Israel” positions, Hurriyet Daily
“Europe is wary of making statements due to feelings of guilt,” he said, blaming the influence of the “Jewish lobby in the US.”
Relations between the two countries cannot be normalized if “this policy of Israel continues,” he said.