Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that his country will oppose anyone who supports Israel.
Erdogan made the comments while addressing senior provincial officials from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara. He was quoted by Iran’s Press TV.
“Whoever is on the side of Israel, let everyone know that we are against them,” stated Erdogan.
Erdogan added that Turkey will continue to promote the Palestinian cause regardless of efforts to undermine it mainly by supporters of the Israeli regime.
“We do not approve of silence on the state terror that Israel blatantly carries out in Palestine,” said the Turkish president, according to Press TV.
His comments followed last week’s demolition by Israel of illegal Palestinian Arab buildings on the outskirts Jerusalem.
The apartment buildings were built in the Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood of Sur Baher, an Arab enclave located almost entirely in Jerusalem.
The strip of land in Wadi al-Hummus area where the illegal structures are located, however, is just outside of the municipal borders of Jerusalem, but on the Jerusalem side of the security fence.
The move was condemned on Monday by the European Union, which said the demolitions undermine the “viability of the two-state solution”.
The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, accused Israel of carrying out a massacre and called on the international community “to intervene immediately and bring an end to Israeli aggression.”
Erdogan’s remarks are not the first time he has criticized Israel, despite the fact that the two countries signed a comprehensive reconciliation deal in 2016, ending a six-year diplomatic standoff following a violent encounter between Israeli soldiers and Islamist radicals on a ship attempting to break through the security blockade on Gaza.
In the past, the Turkish President has accused Israel of being a “terrorist state”, and called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a “terrorist”, after IDF forces opened fire on infiltrators during a Hamas-led confrontation on the Israel-Gaza border.
In March, Erdogan condemned Netanyahu’s affirmation of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people as “blatant racism”.
In response, Netanyahu tweeted, “Turkey’s dictator Erdogan attacks Israel’s democracy while Turkish journalists and judges fill his prisons. What a joke!”
“In Israel, no one is a second-class citizen. Israel is a democracy in which all Israelis, including our nearly 2 million Arab citizens, enjoy equal individual rights. But Israel is also the one and only Jewish state, with a Star of David on our flag, Hatikvah our national anthem, Hebrew our official language and where a Law of Return gives every Jew around the world the right to return to our ancestral homeland,” added the Prime Minister.