Israel is a “state of occupation” which used “terror” against the Palestinians, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said yesterday.
Speaking at an opening ceremony of developmental projects that was held in Turkey’s central city of Sivas, Erdogan said: “Palestine has been under occupation since 1947,” stressing, “Israel is an occupying state, a terrorist state.”
“Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is null and void for us in any case,” he added, noting that the US declaration was an attempt to “damage peace and security in the region.”
“Declaring it as a capital and relocating the embassy has no validity for us [Turkey].”
The Turkish leader pointed out that the US decision has ignored a 1980 United Nation (UN)’s Security Council resolution, which was signed by the US and condemned the Israeli annexation of Jerusalem. Resolution 478 called on the council member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem and described the east of the city as “under occupation”.
“Trump seeks to move forwards by saying ‘there we go, I did it, it’s done!,” Erdogan said, reiterating, “I’m sorry but… being strong does not give you such a right.”
Erdogan called for a summit of Muslim countries in Istanbul on 13 December to discuss the decision.
Last week, Trump announced his decision – despite widespread opposition across the Middle East – to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s new capital and to move the US embassy into the holy city.
World leaders, from Europe to the Middle East to Australia, slammed the decision as a “unilateral and outside the vision of a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” warning of “heightened tensions or even violence across the Middle East.”