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Erdogan criticizes UNSC for being ‘dysfunctional’ amid Israeli massacres in Gaza

Civilians and rescuers look for survivors amid the rubble of a destroyed building following an Israeli bombardment in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 12, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the international community to take action against the Israeli massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking to reporters on board his return flight from a trip to Saudi Arabia on Saturday,  Erdogan criticized the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for being “dysfunctional” once again as Israel continues its brutal war in the besieged enclave.

Erdogan attended the extraordinary Islamic-Arab summit in the capital Riyadh this weekend to discuss the dire situation in Gaza.  

"Palestine, which has been struggling to exist under occupation and oppression for decades, has been experiencing unspeakable cruelty for the past 36 days. Innocent civilians in Gaza are losing their lives under Israel's indiscriminate heavy bombardment and are forcibly displaced from their own lands," the Turkish president said.

He went on to say that Western countries are only watching all these atrocities from the tribunes, adding that those with a conscience can't remain silent in the face of all this.

The Turkish president further reiterated the need to establish a ceasefire to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, saying there have been “intensive efforts to establish a humanitarian ceasefire through diplomacy and dialogue” since the start of the Israeli war on the blockaded enclave.

Erdogan concluded by saying that “the region can only achieve lasting peace with the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East al-Qudsm as its capital, and with geographical integrity.”

On Saturday, Muslim and Arab leaders attended the joint emergency meeting of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the issue of Gaza in Riyadh to discuss Israel's attacks on Gaza, ongoing efforts to deliver aid to civilians, and potential steps toward a solution.

The summit was held as Israel is continuing its deadly bombing campaign in Gaza despite growing calls to end the regime’s atrocities.

In his speech at the summit, Erdogan noted that "it is a shame that Western countries, which always talk about human rights and freedoms, remain silent in the face of the ongoing massacres in Palestine."

He also called for an international peace conference to find a permanent solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, saying “What we need in Gaza is not pauses for a couple of hours, rather we need a permanent ceasefire.”

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm into the occupied territories in response to the occupying regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza-based health ministry, at least 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes, most of them women and children, while nearly 27,490 others have been injured.

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