Turkey’s Erdogan says Israel executing Palestinian girls, elderly
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Turkey’s Erdogan says Israel executing Palestinian girls, elderly

Turkish president tells Organisation of Islamic Cooperation conference that Western countries — and some Arab states — are ‘practically encouraging this brutality’

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks before departing to attend a NATO leader's summit in London, in Ankara, Turkey, December 3, 2019. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks before departing to attend a NATO leader's summit in London, in Ankara, Turkey, December 3, 2019. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “openly executing” Palestinians in the streets, in the latest in a series of diatribes against the Jewish state.

Erdogan also claimed that Western countries, as well as some Arab states, are all but encouraging Israel, against whom he has frequently made angry accusations.

Erdogan said Israel is worsening the situation for Muslims across the region,

“Unfortunately, the situation in Palestine and in its inseparable part, Al-Quds, gets worse day by day,” Erdogan said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem, according to an English translation of his remarks provided by the presidential website. “Israel’s attitude, which knows no rights, law, justice or humanity continuously deepens the crisis in the region to the detriment of Muslims.”

He made the comments at a social development conference organized by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and held in Istanbul

“We today face a Palestine on the streets of which innocent girls, fathers, mothers, elderly people, children and young people are openly executed and mercilessly murdered by Israel,” Erdogan said. “What is more, Western countries and — I regret to say — some Arab states practically encourage this brutality of Israel. We, as Turkey, most of the time feel ourselves left alone in our objections to the oppression in Al-Quds and Palestine.”

“We will continue to uphold the truth and justice and stand by the oppressed at all costs. We will never stop defending the Al-Quds cause and the rights of the Palestinians or acting in solidarity with all the oppressed,” added Erdogan, who has been widely accused of oppressing minorities in Turkey and quashing civil liberties.

Erdogan is an ardent defender of the Palestinian cause and a fierce critic of Israel.

He and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regularly trade harshly worded barbs, calling each other terrorists and mass murderers.

Ties between the countries remain frosty despite Israel and Turkey formally ending a six-year diplomatic rift in 2016.

The spat began when 10 Turkish activists were killed in a violent confrontation with Israeli naval commandos aboard the Mavi Marmara ship that aimed to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel said the soldiers were violently attacked by those on board.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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