“Palestine is an innocent victim… as for Israel, it is a terrorist state, yes, terrorist!” Erdogan said at a congress of his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) in the Turkish city of Sivas on Sunday. “We will not abandon Jerusalem to the mercy of a state that kills children,” he added.
Violent clashes have continued in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza for several days after Trump’s announcement on Wednesday. Two Palestinians were killed and over 1,000 people injured on Friday, with a further 230 wounded on Saturday, as Israeli security forces fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon at the protesters.
Erdogan blasted Israel as an “oppressive, occupation state,” calling the response of the police and military to the protests “disproportionate,” Hurriyet reported.
“The US ignored a 1980 UN Security Council ruling regarding Jerusalem which the US itself signed at that time,” Erdogan said as cited by the Daily Sabah. “A system in which the stronger one is regarded as being right can’t constitute justice, peace and stability,” he said, adding that the American approach could lead to more tragedies.
Trump’s announcement faced widespread international condemnation and was backed only by Israel, which has been pushing for Jerusalem to be recognized as its capital for decades. The leaders of France, Germany and other European nations have all agreed that the US move is dangerous and harmful to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, urging the US to abide by international agreements. The Arab League also rejected the American decision, saying on Saturday that it amounted to recognition of the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem by Israel, and ipso facto had no legal basis.