Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday urged Israel against “indiscriminately” attacking civilians in its war with Hamas militants in Gaza, Agence France-Presse reported.
But Erdoğan also delivered measured criticism of Hamas and urged both sides to respect the “ethics” of war.
Erdoğan told Israeli President Isaac Herzog by phone that “harming the people of Gaza collectively and indiscriminately would further increase the suffering and the spiral of violence in the region,” Erdoğan’s office said.
Erdoğan has fervently backed the Palestinian cause and supported a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He broke away from a regular cabinet meeting to hold an urgent round of telephone diplomacy Monday aimed at easing the raging crisis.
Erdoğan also spoke with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The Turkish leader told a post-cabinet press conference that he also wanted rocket attacks on Israeli cities “and attacks on Israeli civilians” to stop.
“We ask Israel to stop its bombardment of Palestinian territory and Palestinians to stop their harassment of Israeli civilian settlements,” he said.
“War must also have certain ethics. The parties must respect them.”
Erdoğan concluded by reaffirming his offer to help mediate an end to the violence “if asked.”