Conflicts & War

Hamas not a terrorist group but ‘liberation fighters,’ Erdogan says

Ankara, Oct 25 (EFE).- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, is not a terrorist group but an organization fighting for the liberation of their land.

In a televised address in the parliament, Erdogan said that even though the West considered Hamas a terrorist group, but Turkey considered it “a liberation group: ‘mujahideen,’ waging a battle to protect its lands and people.”

Erdogan accused Israel of killing children in Gaza through its airstrikes and bombings, as he was broadcast live by state broadcaster NTV.

He stressed that he had extended a hand of friendship towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and tried to boost ties after the two sides reestablished diplomatic ties last year, but claimed that the latter had abused the goodwill.

The leader cancelled a planned trip to Israel and called for “an immediate ceasefire” and a stop to both Tel Aviv’s strikes – which have killed over 5,800 people in Gaza so far – as well as the launching of rockets (by Hamas) towards Israeli territory.

Erdogan said that the aid that had been allowed to cross into Gaza from Egypt was like a “drop in the desert” and humanitarian efforts needed to be ramped up.

He said that Ankara would keep using all “political, diplomatic and if necessary, military” means to secure a ceasefire and lasting peace and that other Islamic nations should join this initiative.

The Turkish president reiterated the need for finding a two-state solution guaranteed by third parties, and offered to play a role with Turkey’s “human, political and military” presence.

He told lawmakers that his government had so far sent eight planes to Egypt carrying humanitarian aid destined for Gaza. EFE


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