Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sparked anger from Israel on Monday with a string of critical remarks — including his claim that Jerusalem remains under Israeli “occupation.”
“Both in terms of our religion and historical responsibility, Al-Quds and the fight of our Palestinian brothers for rights and justice is of great importance to us. We will keep making efforts for Al-Quds to turn into a city of peace,” Erdogan said in Istanbul, Newsweek reported. Erdogan referred to Jerusalem as Al-Quds, which means “the holy one” in Arabic.
He also urged Muslims to support the Palestinian cause and compared Israeli moves against Palestinians to those of South Africa under Apartheid.
Israeli officials replied to Erdogan’s comments by labeling him a “serial human rights violator.”
“Whoever systematically violates human rights in their own country should not preach morality to the only true democracy in the region,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nashon.
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