Erdogan: Sending international force to protect Palestinians viable idea

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the international community needs to “teach a deterrent lesson” to Israel.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have discussed in a phone call tensions in Gaza and occupied Jerusalem, Turkey’s presidency said, as Ankara seeks international action against Israel.

Israel carried out hundreds of air strikes in Gaza into Wednesday morning, killing at least 48 people, including children and women.

Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups retaliated by firing rockets toward Israel.

Erdogan said showing that Turkey, Russia share same stance on developments in Palestine will send an important message.

Erdogan told Putin the international community needed to “teach a deterrent lesson” to Israel, adding that Ankara was working to mobilise this reaction, according to a statement from his office.

Erdogan said nations should also discuss the “idea of sending an international protection force to the region in order to protect Palestinian civilians”.

“UN Security Council should get involved, give clear messages to Israel to halt attacks before crisis grows further,” Erdogan added.

Erdogan, a vocal advocate of the Palestinian cause, has stepped up diplomacy, speaking to a range of regional leaders and condemning Israel’s “terror”.

Turkey additionally has also withdrawn an invitation for Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to attend the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in the southern coastal city on June 18-20.

Putin calls for de-escalation

Putin urged Israel and the Palestinians to halt fighting.

“Serious concern was expressed about the continuing clashes and the growing number of people killed and wounded,” the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that Putin had “called on the parties to de-escalate tensions and peacefully resolve the emerging issues”.

Expulsions, raids at Al Aqsa

At least 48 Palestinians have been killed and 304 others injured in Israeli attacks in Gaza amid tension across the Palestinian territories after Israeli police stormed the flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem and assaulted worshippers.

Six Israelis have also been killed and 45 others injured in Palestinian rocket fire.

Tensions have been running high since last week after an Israeli court ordered the evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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