Turkey's PM: Israel threatened Gaza with nuke weapons, slams West

Erdogan said in an interview, that remaining silent about use of weapons of mass destruction by Israel in Gaza would be unfair.

Turkey's PM: Israel threatened Gaza with nuke weapons, slams West

Turkey's prime minister told a British paper that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to use nuclear weapons against Gaza.

The Guardian reported Monday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview, Erdogan reportedly said that the Turkey-Israel strategic alliance remained alive, but chided Lieberman over the nuclear threat regarding the Gaza Strip.

Erdogan also said in another interview, that remaining silent about use of weapons of mass destruction by Israel in Gaza would be unfair.

Israel now face UN report that particularly details its war crimes in Gaza offensive that cost lives of nearly 1500 Palestinians last year.

"Phosphorus bombs weapons of mass destruction"

In a televised interview with Al Jazeera news channel, Erdogan talked about Turkey's relations with Israel and Turkey's stance in the Middle East.

Erdogan said Turkey's stance was not based on religion or ethnicity, but it only had humanitarian purposes. "We have never had intentions to become a party," he said.

Speaking about what happened in Gaza early this year during the Israeli offensive, Erdogan said Israel used weapons of mass destruction, phosphorus bombs particularly, in operations.

"Phosphorus bombs are weapons of mass destruction. Remaining silent over them would be unfair. So, we could not say 'yes' to it as the people of this region," Erdogan said.

"The Israeli operations were carefully planned in all their phases as a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population," UN report said.

The firing of white phosphorous shells and the use of high explosive artillery shells were listed as violations of humanitarian law in the report.

He said the Turkish government had made such statements during the conflict between Georgia and Russia, adding that the West had exerted similar peaceful efforts to stop the war.

"Still remained destroyed"

"However," Erdogan said, "the West remained silent about Gaza. Why did they remain silent for a week or ten days and later they entered Gaza. It is not understandable."

He said it had been nine months over the Israeli operations in Gaza and seven months since the donor conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, adding that infrastructure in Gaza still remained destroyed.

"There were pledges for the reconstruction of this place but construction materials are still not allowed to Gaza. Why is that? I am now asking again: Why is the West still deaf to it and standing by with folded arms?" he said.

Pointing out the Goldstone report released last week about Gaza, Erdogan said that the report contained facts and those facts were also accepted by the UN Human Rights Commission.

He said there were more than 100 UN resolutions regarding Israel, but these resolutions had never been put in practice, which he said was thought-provoking.

"Over 1,500 people were killed and 5,000 were wounded in Gaza. Some of them were brought to Turkey for treatment. I visited them. It was impossible to see them in that condition and remain silent or insensitive," Erdogan stated.

Turkey and Israel have several agreements, Erdogan said, adding that Turkey's approach towards Israel was not hostile.

Recalling Turkey-mediated indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria, Erdogan said, "if we are friends in this region, we have to fulfill obligations of being friends. First you accept Turkey as a mediator, but one week later Turkey is put in a different position. They say Turkey was unreliable. You relied on Turkey until that time. So, why is this change? It means there is a change in the understanding of Israeli administration. This is the problem," he said. "I hope we can fix these mistakes and bring the long-awaited peace to the Middle East."

Erdogan reaffirmed that a rupture in relations between Turkey and Israel was out of question, and he went on saying, "there was a military exercise called Anatolian Falcon. On one hand, there are Gaza incidents and on the other hand there is a public indignation over the incidents in Gaza. I am the reflection of public conscious in Turkey. I have to listen to it."

"It was a national exercise that Turkey would decide who to call," he said.

Erdogan also said that it had nothing to do with the unmanned aerial vehicles that Turkey would buy from Israel.

Protest

The remarks also come just after Israel special forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday morning, firing rubber-coated bullets and tear-gas canisters.

Turkish people will protest Israel over the second police storming of Al-Aqsa mosque that many Palestinian were wounded including journalists.


Agencies

Last Mod: 26 Ekim 2009, 12:31
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