ANKARA: Turkey’s president on Tuesday spoke to Malaysia’s monarch and Qatar’s ruler to discuss Israel’s attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinians.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held separate phone conversations with Malaysia’s King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, according to a statement by Turkey’s Communications Directorate.
During talks with the Malaysian king, Erdogan stressed the importance of “banding together in the face of the oppression the Palestinians suffer due to Israel’s attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
“President Erdogan expressed his confidence that Turkey and Malaysia would act in close cooperation at all relevant platforms, particularly at the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” said the statement.
In talks with the emir of Qatar, Erdogan “highlighted the importance of Turkey and Qatar’s joint effort to mobilize regional countries and the international community against Israel’s attacks against Al-Quds, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinians,” it added, referring to another name for Jerusalem.
Israeli forces have been relentless in their attacks on Palestinians since Friday when they injured more than 200 Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the third-holiest site in the world for Muslims, and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Heavily armed Israeli forces stormed the mosque twice on Monday, firing rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at Palestinians, wounding more than 300.
Tensions have run high in the Sheikh Jarrah area since last week as Israeli settlers have swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families.
Israeli forces and settlers have repeatedly assaulted Palestinians who have turned up to express solidarity with the families facing eviction, with many also having been detained.
After Palestinian groups fired rockets in response to Israel’s violence in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv launched an air offensive on the Gaza Strip on Monday evening.
By Tuesday afternoon, at least 26 Palestinian civilians, including children, had been killed and some 110 injured in Israeli air strikes on the besieged Palestinian territory, local sources told Anadolu Agency.
Overall, Israeli attacks had wounded at least 822 people in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and occupied Jerusalem as of Tuesday morning, according to Palestinian health authorities.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 — a move that has never been recognized by the international community.