Israel Palestine Conflict

Turkey says Israel’s ‘occupation’, ‘repression’ cannot be viewed as self-defense

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Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian territories and “oppression” of the Palestinian people including its constant attacks on the enclave cannot be viewed as “self-defense”, Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

“At the core of the current problem lies Israeli occupation, as well as its expansionist mentality and repressive actions that completely ignores law, human rights and universal principles,” spokesperson for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oncu Keceli said.

He added: “Brute force against an entire civilian population by an occupying power cannot be legitimized as self-defense.”

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Keceli stated: “As the history of the conflict shows, the more Israel oppresses Palestinians and destroys their basic freedoms, the more resistance it will face as many more Palestinians will continue to seek the realization of their collective and individual rights.”

This came in response to a statement by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

Cohen said on X (formerly Twitter): “The Hamas-ISIS terrorist organization will not exist in Gaza on the day after. We will free Gaza from Hamas, for the sake of Israel's security and to create a better future for the residents of the region.”

He added: “You [Turkish Presidency] are welcome to host in your country Hamas terrorists who aren't eliminated and flee from Gaza.”

Turkey has historically sustained diplomatic relations with Palestinian militant group Hamas which is often labelled by Western countries including the US and the EU as a terrorist organization. Ankara views its ties with Hamas as part of the of its effort to support the Palestinian cause. Turkey’s support for Hamas plays out in terms of political backing and hosting of some of its leaders.

The trading of barbs between Turkey and Israel comes against the backdrop of the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7.

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