The UN Security Council must intervene quickly to protect the Palestinians, the Turkish president told his Russian counterpart.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the international community should teach “Israel a strong and chilling lesson” about its behavior towards the Palestinians.
Erdogan made the comment during a phone call with Putin on Wednesday, the President’s Directorate of Communications in Turkey said amid escalating violence in occupied East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
Hostilities flared up after Hamas, which rules the besieged Gaza Strip, issued an ultimatum on Monday demanding that Israel detain its security forces from the Al-Aqsa Mosque site in Jerusalem’s old city after violent crackdowns on Palestinians .
Monday marked the third day in a row that Israeli police raided Islam’s third holiest site and fired rubber-coated steel cartridges, stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinian worshipers in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan
The escalation was triggered by Israel’s plans to forcibly evict residents from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlers.
The Gaza Ministry of Health said the death toll since the last offensive began was 56, including 14 children. More than 300 others were wounded. Six Israelis were also killed.
The Turkish statement on Wednesday said Erdogan had stressed the need for “the international community to teach Israel a strong and dissuasive lesson” and called on the UN Security Council to act swiftly with “firm and clear messages” to Israel .
The statement said Erdogan had suggested Putin to consider an international protection force to protect the Palestinians.
Erdogan had expressed a wish late last year to improve relations between Turkey and Israel after years of disagreement over the occupation of the West Bank by Tel Aviv and the treatment of the Palestinians.
Turkey, which in 1949 was the first country with a Muslim majority to recognize Israel, broke off relations with Israel for the first time in 2010.
That was after 10 pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed by Israeli commandos boarding a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, which was part of a flotilla trying to provide aid and break Israel’s long-standing sea blockade on Gaza.
The Israeli blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip has existed since June 2007 when Israel imposed an airtight land, sea and air blockade on the area.
They reestablished relationships in 2016, but relationships deteriorated again in 2018.
In May of this year, Ankara withdrew its envoy over deadly attacks against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip who were protesting US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have often exchanged angry remarks, but the two countries continue to trade with each other.
In August this year, Israel accused Turkey of giving passports to a dozen Hamas members in Istanbul, describing the move as “a very unfriendly move” its government would take against Turkish officials.
Hamas seized the besieged Gaza Strip in 2007 from forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after winning the 2006 general election. Since then, Israel has stepped up its siege considerably and launched three protracted military attacks on Gaza.