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World

AFP
&
REUTERS
May 16, 2018

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Israel’s envoy to Ankara summoned over Gaza genocide: Erdogan vows ‘strong message’ on Gaza

LONDON: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Tuesday that a planned summit this week of the worlds main pan-Islamic body would send a "strong message" after Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians along the Gaza border.

"The extraordinary meeting on Friday will give a very strong message to the world from Istanbul," Erdogan said at a press conference in London with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

He added that all members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) were invited. Erdogan regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and last year hosted an OIC summit in Istanbul to denounce US President Donald Trumps decision to recognise occupied-al-Quds as Israel’s capital. The fresh violence in Gaza on Monday, when Israels army killed 60 Palestinians during protests, came as the US formally moved its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier confirmed that Turkey had called the OIC summit, saying it would be followed by a giant rally in support of the Palestinians. Which leaders may attend Fridays meeting has yet to be made clear. But earlier, Erdogan spoke by telephone to Jordans King Abdullah and Malaysias 92-year-old new leader Mahathir Mohamed.

Speaking alongside May, Erdogan warned that history would not forgive Israel or the US for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem in defiance of outrage in the Islamic world. "America says I am strong and so I am right. No, you are not right," Erdogan said.

"History will not forgive you. We will see this reality. Israel wont be forgiven, we will see this as well," he added. British Prime Minister Theresa May urged all sides to show restraint after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during clashes along the Gaza border.

"Such violence is destructive to peace efforts and we call on all sides to show restraint," she said. At least 2,400 more were wounded in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.

"There is an urgent need to establish the facts of what happened yesterday through an independent and transparent investigation, including why such a volume of live fire was used and what role Hamas played in events," May said.

"Palestinians have the right to protest, but these protests must be peaceful. We are concerned that extremist elements are seeking to hijack legitimate protests to further their own objectives," May said.

"While we do not question the right of Israel to defend its borders, the use of live fire and the resulting loss of life is deeply troubling. We urge Israel to show restraint." Earlier on Tuesday, Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office minister responsible for Middle East affairs, reiterated Britains commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict, and said it did not agree with the US decision to move its embassy. Meanwhile, Turkey summoned Israels ambassador to Ankara to its foreign ministry, sources in the ministry said on Tuesday, a day after Israeli forces killed more than 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border.

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