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Turkey Urges Muslim States to Review Ties With Israel Amid Gaza Violence

© AFP 2023 / THOMAS COEX / The Israeli flag flutters in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the city of Jerusalem, on December 1, 2017
The Israeli flag flutters in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the city of Jerusalem, on December 1, 2017 - Sputnik International
Turkey strongly condemned Monday's violence in the Gaza Strip during mass demonstrations held by Palestinians, which turned deadly with at least 59 people killed, protesting the US embassy's relocation to Jerusalem.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has called on Muslim countries to reconsider their ties with Israel in the wake of the violence in Gaza.

As at least 59 Palestinian protesters were killed and thousands injured on Monday, Ankara decided to recall its ambassadors to the US and Israel and called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also slammed Israel as a "terrorist state" and described its actions against Palestinians as genocide.

The reaction of International Bodies

Meanwhile, international humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) in a Tuesday statement described Israel’s use of force against Palestinians during the ongoing protests in the Gaza Strip as inhuman and unacceptable.

"What happened today is unacceptable and inhuman. The death toll provided this evening by Gaza health authorities—55 dead and 2271 wounded, including 1359 wounded with live ammunition — is staggering. It is unbearable to witness such a massive number of unarmed people being shot in such a short time," the MSF stressed.

The organization noted that its medical teams had been working around the clock since April 1, providing surgical and postoperative care to the injured protesters, with a "colossal influx" of patients and overwhelmed medical staff.

The organization expressed grave concern over the fact that Israel viewed anyone approaching the border fence as a "legitimate target," exposing them to deadly or lifelong injuries.

"This bloodbath is the continuation of Israeli army’s policy during the last seven weeks: shooting with live ammunition at demonstrators, on the assumption that anyone approaching the separation fence is a legitimate target. Most of the wounded will be condemned to suffer lifelong injuries," the MSF concluded.

US Embassy Opening, Conflict Escalation

The developments come amid the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, which was initially announced in December, prompting mass protests and condemnation in Muslim countries, as well as criticism of the states, backing the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

READ MORE: Israel Chooses to Massacre Unarmed Palestinians as New US Embassy Opens

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The same day, Ankara condemned what it described as a "legally null and void" decision of the US administration over "violating international law and all relevant UN Resolutions."

After the US blocked a UNSC resolution, condemning the transfer of its embassy to the holy city, Turkey brought the document to the United Nations General Assembly, which was adopted by a 128-9 vote, with 35 abstentions. The resolution calls on UN members to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, which has been an apple of discord between the Israelis and Palestinians for decades.

READ MORE: Experts Explain Why US Government May Be Backing Israeli Actions in Gaza

Israel seized the then Jordan-controlled East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1980, the Israeli parliament adopted the Jerusalem Law proclaiming the entire city Israel’s undivided capital. The international community does not recognize the annexation and believes the status of Jerusalem should be agreed upon with the Palestinians, who claim its eastern part as the capital of their future state.

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