Senior Turkish lawmaker urges US president to speak up on Israeli violence

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ANKARA

A senior Turkish ruling party lawmaker of on Tuesday urged US President Joe Biden to speak up against Israeli violence towards Muslims.

Speaking to reporters in parliament, Mustafa Elitas, deputy parliamentary group chair of the Justice and Development (AK) Party, condemned Israel’s recent attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Gaza Strip.

All humanity should respect on each other’s religious observances, he said.

“But unfortunately, we are facing an Israel which attacks people gathered at Al-Aqsa Mosque to carry out their religious activities,” he added.

“While the US President [Joe Biden] was commenting on the events of 1915 in Turkey during the [First World] war, it is meaningful that he remained silent on Israel’s persecution of Muslims in the region, in the center of the Middle East where all [Abrahamic] religions are based.”

Biden last month called the events of 1915 when a number of Armenians of the Ottoman Empire lost their lives during the difficult conditions of World War I a “genocide.”

At least 24 Palestinians, including nine children, were killed on Monday in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem since last week, when Israeli settlers swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

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