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Erdogan says Israel must be held accountable, tried in international courts for crimes in Gaza

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Israeli regime has shamelessly violated international law by committing various crimes in its latest war on Gaza which has killed more than 15,000 people in less than two months.

In a phone call on Tuesday with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Turkish president said that Israel must be tried in international courts for war crimes it has committed in Gaza over the past weeks, according to a statement by the Turkish presidency.

“Israel continues to shamelessly trample on international law, the laws of war, and international humanitarian law by looking in the eyes of the international community, and it must be held accountable for the crimes it committed in front of international law,” the statement quoted Erdogan as saying in the phone call. 

Erdogan also discussed with Guterres the “expectations of the international community regarding Israel's unlawful attacks” on Gaza as well as issues like the delivery of humanitarian aid to people in the territory and efforts that can guarantee a permanent settlement of disputes in the region.

The call for prosecution of Israel in international courts is one of the strongest to come from Erdogan since the conflict in Gaza began in early October. He had previously called Israel a “terror state” while describing its attacks on Gaza as genocide.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan is planning to attend a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Wednesday where he is scheduled to meet members of a contact group formed this month by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League to discuss Gaza with Western countries and others.

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