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Israel should be taken to International Criminal Court over Gaza massacre: Turkish FM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (Photo by AFP)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says the Israeli regime should be brought before the International Criminal Court for the recent massacre of tens of Palestinians during anti-occupation protest rallies along the border between the Gaza Strip and occupied territories.

“Israel should be taken to the International Criminal Court [over the killing of Palestinians]. Since third parties cannot do it, Palestine needs to initiate this,” Cavusoglu said in an interview with state broadcaster TRT on Thursday.

The top Turkish diplomat added, “We are analyzing what kind of legal steps can be taken [against Israel]. Israel should account for its actions.”

He pointed out that the United Nations Human Rights Committee would hold a meeting in Geneva on Friday to decide on a probe into Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians.

“This crime against humanity should be probed by an independent commission and Israel should account for its actions before the law,” Cavusoglu noted.

He said, “We cannot only be content with such decisions. Our next step will be to take this issue to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. We should be able to issue a decision from there.”

The Turkish foreign minister went on to say that Ankara had already completed all of its preparations for the transfer of wounded Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Turkey, but the Tel Aviv regime has refused to issue the necessary permits.

Palestinian protesters flee from tear gas during demonstrations near the border with occupied territories east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 15, 2018, marking 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) and against the US relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds. (Photo by AFP)

“There is a regime that is far distant from human values. If Israel had granted the permission, the wounded Palestinians would have either been treated in Egypt or in Turkey,” Cavusoglu said.

At least 62 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 others wounded near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds.

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017, announced Washington's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said the United States would move the US embassy to the city.

Palestinian mourners carry the body of 51-year-old Nasser Ghorab during his funeral in al-Nusirat refugee camp in the central Gaza strip on May 16, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the world.

The status of Jerusalem al-Quds is the thorniest issue in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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