- The OIC held a summit meeting in Istanbul over Jerusalem
- Erdogan called Israel an "occupying and terrorist state"
- Israel was "almost rewarded" by Trump for "terrorist actions"
- Abbas said Trump gave Jerusalem to Israel as if it was a U.S. state
Relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognizing the city as its capital was deemed a punishment for Palestinians Wednesday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Ergodan at a Middle Eastern summit.
Erdogan's comments about President Donald Trump's announcement last week that the United States will move the embassy from Tel Aviv were made at the opening session of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit meeting in Istanbul, a hastily arranged meeting that was called after Trump's move.
Ergodan called Israel an "occupying and terrorist state" and asked "all just countries" to instead recognize Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. He added that Muslim countries will never abandon Palestine's hopes for sovereignty and independence.
"While the occupying state is being recognized, there is no logical reason for the party that wants peace, that lives in one-fifth of historical Palestine to not be recognized," Erdoğan said, a reference to Israeli use of Jerusalem as its capital despite its Palestinian population and the presence of important Muslim religious sites there.
- OIC Summit in Istanbul to Call for East Jerusalem as Palestine's Capital
- The UN Must Pressure Israel to End Occupation: Palestinian PM
"Only Israel, which occupies Jerusalem, supported the U.S.' unlawful decision. We thank all the countries who did not accept this illegitimate decision."
Trump repeatedly promised the move during his election campaign, and the announcement was widely condemned across the Middle East, which regarded the change as the end of any pretense of U.S. neutrality in brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
Israel was "almost rewarded" by Trump for "terrorist actions," Erdogan said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also spoke at the summit Wednesday, saying, "Trump wants to give Jerusalem as a present to Israel, as if he is donating one of the U.S. states, as if he is the only person with the authority to decide. The U.S. has lost its mediator role in the Israel Palestine peace process, and we will never allow in the future that the U.S. takes part in the process. We want OIC to support us in this decision."
Tensions have increased in Palestinian territories since Trump's announcement, amid regular protests. Two people were killed by Israeli security forces and hundreds were injured during demonstrations last week.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright © UPI, 2021. All Rights Reserved.