Turkey’s Premier Erdogan: Israel Must Be Barred From UN
Turkey’s Prime Minister has called for Israel to be barred from the UN as long as it ignores international calls to stop war on Gaza.
“How is such a country, which does not implement resolutions of the UN Security Council, allowed to enter through the gates of the UN (headquarters)?” Recep Tayyip Erdogan inquired on Friday.
The remarks came before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s arrival in Ankara to discuss the conflict and amid growing outrage in Turkey over Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
Erdogan lashed out at the Israeli army’s raids on civilians under the pretext of targeting the Palestinian fighters in the territory. He also accused the Israeli media of falsely suggesting that Hamas uses civilians as human shields in the Gaza Strip.
The UN chief, who traveled to the West Bank on Thursday, has urged an end to the ‘unbearable’ situation in Gaza and called on Israel for a unilateral humanitarian truce.
Last Thursday, the UN Security Council approved a resolution which demanded an “immediate” and “durable” ceasefire leading to the “full withdrawal” of Israeli forces from Gaza. It also called for “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment.”
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, however, vowed to resist outside pressure and push ahead with the military action against Gaza, while Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel would act ‘only according to its interests’.
Weeks of ceaseless Israeli airstrikes and tank shelling have so far killed more than 1,133 Palestinians across the impoverished coastal sliver, which has been under Israel’s crippling blockade since June 2007.
On Friday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul renewed calls for an immediate cease-fire and urged US President-elect Barack Obama to focus on a comprehensive, long-lasting and fair solution to the issue once he is in office.