ANKARA — Turkey on Monday denounced US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as an “election gift” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump’s decision to proclaim that the Golan Heights — captured from Syria during the Six Day War of 1967 — belongs to Israel, hands a significant diplomatic victory to Netanyahu before the April 9 elections.
“Trump’s signing is virtually an election gift to Netanyahu, who is in difficulty ahead of elections,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a speech in the southern province of Antalya.
“Whatever you do for (Netanyahu) — who even divides his own people, who bombs in Gaza today as you can see — for this tyrant, there will be no advantages. America’s efforts are in vain,” Cavusoglu said in televised remarks.
Israel launched strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza on Monday hours after a rocket from the Palestinian enclave hit a house in the center of the country and wounded seven people.
It is not the first time that Turkey has lambasted Trump over his policy towards Israel. In 2017, Ankara repeatedly criticized the US president over his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Cavusoglu said Turkey would “do whatever is necessary until the end,” and work with the global community against “one-sided decisions,” which disregard international law.
Turkey-Israel relations are strained, especially after a recent war of words between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a champion of the Palestinian cause, and Netanyahu.
The recognition of the Golan Heights was also condemned by Syria, Russia, and Lebanon.