Israel's settlement building 'provocation': Erdogan

Erdogan says settlement building was a violation of international law

Israel's settlement building 'provocation': Erdogan

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized Israel’s construction of hundreds of new settlement homes in Israel-occupied West Bank as a “provocation”.

“Israel’s decision to construct new settlement units in east Jerusalem and West Bank is an absolute provocation,” Erdogan said during a speech in Bahrain on Monday.

He said the settlement building was a violation of international law. “Ending the illegal settlement activity is a precondition for lasting peace and stability in the Middle East," he said.

In December, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

Last week, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) passed a law that retroactively legalized Jewish-only outposts built on Palestinian land in the West Bank, which is considered illegal under international law.

According to official figures, the Israeli authority has approved the construction of more than 7,250 settlement units in east Jerusalem and West Bank since the beginning of 2017.

Roughly 500,000 Israelis now live in more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel occupied the Palestinian West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967.

The Palestinians want these areas -- along with the Gaza Strip -- for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

International law views the West Bank and east Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land as illegal.

-Anti-Adhan bill

The Turkish president also criticized an Israeli bill to ban the Muslim call to prayer (Adhan) being broadcast through loudspeakers.

"Not only Muslims but everybody should be sensitive to all practices that disturb peace of the international community and hurt conscience in Jerusalem, which is our first qiblah,” he said.

Qiblah is the direction Muslims take during prayer.

"Such steps will not be of any use other than heightening tension," Erdogan warned.

On Sunday, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a revised version of the bill, which will go to a preliminary vote in the parliament.

The new bill calls for banning the Muslim call to prayer being broadcast through loudspeakers from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

An earlier draft of the bill was met with opposition from Ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmakers over concerns about how it might also affect Jewish religious practices.

Palestinians have rejected the law claiming it deprives Muslims of their right to freedom of religion.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Şubat 2017, 17:01