Israel's recent actions in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories amounted to "crimes against humanity," Turkey's foreign minister said, addressing the UN Human Rights Council at a special session today, Anadolu Agency reports.
"Israel's attacks on Palestinian civilians amounted to crimes against humanity. There is no justification for such aggression," said Mevlut Cavusoglu during the session on the deteriorating human rights situation in occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem.
Underlining that the latest "heart-breaking" scenes in Palestine were the result of Israeli provocations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, Cavusoglu said these were part of a "systematic campaign of ethnic, religious, and cultural cleansing."
At the session, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called for a special investigation into possible crimes committed during the recent 11-day bombardment that started on May 10.
Cavusoglu added that there was also no justification for the "inhumane blockade" on the Gaza Strip, asserting that this "collective punishment" should be lifted immediately.
The international community has the responsibility to protect Palestinians, said the foreign minister. "We have to come up with effective instruments to put an end to Israel's impunity."
"Let's be realistic: Unless we address the root causes of the conflict, the sufferings of the Palestinians will continue," he highlighted.
Cavusoglu said that the Palestinians' plight could not end unless the illegal occupation also ends and they have their own state.
"The Human Rights Council has an important role in all these areas. No more words. We need action, and we need it now," said Cavusoglu.
During the same session, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said: "This council must act to rectify the wrong.
"This council must ensure the realization of Palestinian's fundamental rights — right to life and right to self-determination. This council must hold the aggressor accountable through international inquiry."