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Palestinian developments are straining Turkey-Israel relations

11 7 0

Recent weeks have witnessed a series of developments in Palestine that have produced mixed reactions in Turkey and Israel. Their relationship is back to the level of tension prevalent in the wake of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010.

The most recent development was the announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he will annex the occupied Jordan Valley if he wins Israel’s General Election. Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, criticised Netanyahu’s remarks as, “A vile attempt to win a few more votes in the coming election at the expense of destroying the hopes of achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East.” He added that Israel was encouraged by “some” countries and is on the verge of turning into a racist, apartheid regime.

Çavuşoğlu’s comments produced a quick response from his Israeli counterpart Yisrael Katz. “Erdogan’s regime systematically violates human rights, brutally persecutes the Kurds and supports the terrorists of Hamas,” Katz tweeted. “He is the last person who should be preaching morals to Israel.”

The Turkish Minister responded, “Those who feel uncomfortable about our statement today, brutally & indiscriminately massacre our Palestinian brothers and sisters, viciously use state terrorism before the eyes of the world and even attempt to shamelessly attack our President. [We] Will defend this just cause till the end!”

READ: Israel settlers attack Palestinian homes near Nablus

Last month, Katz used Twitter to say that he had instructed his ministry to formulate a package of measures “to stop Turkey’s incitement and subversion” in [occupied] East Jerusalem. Çavuşoğlu saw this as electioneering. “A dirty game is once again being played in #Israel at election time,” he tweeted. “Will never give up supporting our Palestinian........

© Middle East Monitor