Israel must be held accountable in international courts for war crimes in Gaza: Erdoğan

Sherry El Gergawi , Tuesday 28 Nov 2023

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Israel must be held accountable in international courts for its war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip.

An aerial view shows the destruction caused by Israeli strikes in Wadi Gaza, in the central Gaza Str
An aerial view shows the destruction caused by Israeli strikes in Wadi Gaza, in the central Gaza Stri, November 28, 2023. AFP

 

In a phone call prior to a UN Security Council meeting on Gaza planned for Wednesday, Erdoğan told Guterres that "The crimes committed must not go unpunished in the eyes of the international community."

"Israel continues to shamelessly trample on international law, the laws of war, and international humanitarian all while looking into the eyes of the international community,"  Erdoğan added, according to a statement from the Turkish presidency issued on Tuesday.

The war began on October 7 when, according to Israeli officials, the Hamas movement took around 240 captives and killed 1,200 people in the deadliest attack in the country's history.

In response, Israel vowed to "crush" Hamas and initiated a lethal and barbaric air, sea, and ground invasion against civilians in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian health ministry reports that nearly 15,000 people, two-thirds of them women and children, have been killed by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

The statement also added that Erdoğan expressed his deep sorrow to Guterres for the loss of at least 100 UN workers in the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

Erdoğan also suggested the UN chief visit Egypt's Rafah border crossing with Gaza, as this could draw international attention to the crimes taking place in the enclave.

A humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas will be extended by two days, mediator Qatar said Monday as an initial four-day truce in Gaza was set to expire.

So far, under the truce deal, Hamas has released a total of 69 captives while Israel has freed 150 Palestinian detainees.

Guterres called the truce “a glimpse of hope and humanity in the middle of the darkness of war." He reiterated his call for a “long-term” ceasefire and the release of all captives held by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, and Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons. 

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