World needs to give Israel a ‘strong’ lesson, Erdoğan says in call with Putin

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the world needs to give Israel a “strong” lesson on Wednesday in a call with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, who urged Israel and the Palestinians to halt fighting, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Serious concern was expressed about the continuing clashes and the growing number of people killed and wounded,” the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that Putin had “called on the parties to de-escalate tensions and peacefully resolve the emerging issues.”

The Israeli army has launched hundreds of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since Monday, where Hamas and other militants have responded by firing back volleys of rockets on Israeli cities.

The worst violence in seven years has claimed 50 lives since breaking out last Friday.

The world needs to give Israel a “strong” lesson Erdoğan told Putin, as the UN Security Council prepared to address the surging Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Erdoğan, a vocal advocate of the Palestinian cause, has stepped up diplomacy, speaking to a range of regional leaders and condemning Israel’s “terror.”

Erdoğan told Putin in the call that “the international community needs to give a strong and deterrent lesson to Israel,” the Turkish presidency said.

The UN Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent member, must “deliver determined and clear messages for Israel to stop its attacks,” Erdoğan said.

The Security Council will hold an urgent meeting later on Wednesday, its second such session in three days, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

The first, held Monday, ended without a joint statement, with the United States expressing reluctance to adopt a draft statement proposed by Norway “at this point.”

Erdoğan said nations should also discuss the “idea of sending an international protection force to the region in order to protect Palestinian civilians,” the presidency said.

The surge in violence has sparked successive nights of large protests in İstanbul and Ankara, which have been held in support of the Palestinian cause despite tough coronavirus restrictions.

Turkey additionally has also withdrawn an invitation for Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to attend the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in the southern coastal city on June 18-20.

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