Erdogan: Israel Making Fuss over Its 3 Dead
Arab heads of state and foreign ministers denounced Israel's campaign against Hamas in Gaza in an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday, while visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said disparagingly that Israel was "making an international racket" over civilians killed by Hamas rockets.
The session came amid what AFP termed "a flurry of meetings" to coordinate an Arab and Turkish response to the four-day operation.
Member states should "reconsider all past Arab initiatives on the peace process and review their stance on the process as a whole," said Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi. "Our meetings have become a waste of money and a waste of time," said Qatar's prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani.
"We are meeting today and we will issue a statement. The statement will mean nothing," he said. "The whole situation needs a clear and honest review."
The diplomats were referring to the Arab peace initiative in 2002 and subsequent proposals, not the peace treaties Israel signed with Egypt and Jordan.
Saturday's session, called by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the "Palestinians," came after Morsi met Erdogan.
Both Turkey and Egypt have publicly refused requests from Washington to exert pressure on Hamas into ending rocket fire into Israel, blaming the Jewish state instead for the violence.
"It's a tactic of Israel's to point the finger at Hamas and attack Gaza," Erdogan told reporters on Saturday before leaving Ankara for Cairo.
"Israel continues to make an international racket with its three dead," he said of the three residents of Kiryat Malachi killed by a direct rocket hit on an apartment. "In fact it is Israel that violated the ceasefire."