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Palestinian groups condemn Israeli president’s visit to Turkey

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Protesters hold a banner bearing an image of Israeli president Isaac Herzog and reading ''We don't want murderers in our country'' as they wave Palestinian flags and chant slogans during a demonstration against Herzog's visit to Turkey, at the Sarachane park in Istanbul on March 9, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinian resistance movements have condemned the visit paid by Israeli president Isaac Herzog to Turkey that comes amid intensified Israeli attacks on Palestinians.            

The Islamic Jihad movement on Wednesday slammed Ankara for welcoming Isaac Herzog in Turkey, saying the move --which comes amid intensified Israeli attacks on Palestinians in al-Quds, and Israel’s Judaization plans-- is deemed as “betrayal of al-Quds and Palestine”.

The visit “represents a bias to the enemy against the jihad of the Palestinian people,” it added.

The Hamas resistance group also expressed its concern over the visits made by Israeli leaders to Arab and Muslim countries.

The movement expressed its regret over such visits, calling the Arab and Muslim countries “not to provide the Zionist entity with the opportunity to penetrate the region and to tamper with the interests of its countries”.

The movement reiterated its rejection of “all forms of communication with our enemy that violates our sanctities, desecrates and Judaizes al-Quds and al-Aqsa [Mosque], continues its siege and aggression on our people in the Gaza Strip, continues to detain thousands of prisoners, kills our children and destroys our homes, and displaces our people.”

Herzog arrived in Turkey on Wednesday in an attempt to improve the frigid Tel Aviv-Ankara ties.

A protester holds a placard reading ''wanted'' and chants slogans during a demonstration against the visit of Israel's president Isaac Herzog, at the Sarachane Park in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 9, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Ahead of the visit, protesters in Turkey burnt the Israeli flag in the Turkish city of Istanbul and denounced any normalization with the Tel Aviv regime and vowed to support the Palestinian cause.

Herzog’s two-day visit to Turkey marks the highest-level trip by an Israeli official since former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s 2008 visit. The visit comes upon the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the Israeli presidency. It also follows a series of public quarrels between Erdogan and then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who occasionally attacked each other in recent years.

Erdogan has called Netanyahu a “terrorist,” an “occupier,” and a “tyrant.” But the Turkish president announced last month that the Israeli president would visit Turkey in March, saying it would be good for Turkey-Israel relations. He also said a possible gas partnership would be on the agenda of Herzog’s visit.

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