(Haaretz).Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Israel of endangering world peace by using exaggerated force against the Palestinians, breaching Lebanon's air and water space and for not revealing the details of its nuclear program.
At a press conference with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Said Hariri, Erdogan called on the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to pressure Israel over its nuclear program in the same way that the international community has been dealing with Iran. "Israel never denied that it has nuclear weapons," said Erdogan. "In fact, it has admitted to such."
"Those who are cautioning Iran must also caution Israel," Erdogan declared. "If we fail to display a fair attitude in this region, the problems will hit not only the region, but will spread elsewhere as well. The unrest of the Middle East is the unrest of the world."
Until recently, Turkey had been a solid ally of Israel's from the Muslim world. However, Ankara has taken a stance against Israel over last year's war in the Gaza Strip, leading to a deterioration of ties. "Is the Israeli government in favor of peace or not?" Erdogan said. "Gaza was bombed again yesterday. Why?... There were no rocket attacks." Erdogan was referring to an Israel Air Force strike Sunday on a rocket-launching ground in central Gaza, where three Islamic Jihad militants posing to fire at Israel were killed. Approximately four mortar shells were also fired from Gaza toward the western Negev on Sunday. "As Turkey, we can never remain silent in the face of Israel's attitude... They have disproportional capabilities and power and they use them," Erdogan said. "They do not abide by UN resolutions," he added. They say they will do what they like. We can in no way approve of such an attitude."