Ankara Closely Monitoring Developments in East Al-Quds: Erdogan

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country is closely monitoring developments in occupied East al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque.

Erdogan held a joint meeting with the Palestinian president and the head of the Hamas political bureau, pushing for unity among Palestinian factions ahead of a summit of Palestinian factions set for the weekend.

The meeting with Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh was held in the presidential complex in the capital Ankara on Wednesday, during which Erdogan offered condolences over the killing of Palestinians in attacks by Israeli security forces and settlers, and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.

“Pointing out the importance of the unity and solidarity of the Palestinian people, President Erdogan stated that those who seek to undermine the peace process benefit from Palestinian division,” tweeted Turkey’s Communications Directorate after the meeting.

Erdogan underlined that Turkey did not accept the ongoing Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, adding that Ankara was closely monitoring developments in occupied East al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque, Press TV reported.

The meeting was held in the run-up to a meeting of Palestinian factions scheduled to be held in Cairo on July 30.

On Tuesday, Abbas held a one-on-one meeting with Haniyeh, in which they agreed to hold a broad meeting of factions in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to discuss the conflict with Israel and ways to end internal divisions.

Husam Badran, a member of the Hamas politburo, said in a statement that preparations for the Cairo meeting were discussed in talks between the Hamas leadership and Abbas, stressing that unity was needed to confront Israel, which “wants to swallow up the land, expand settlements, and control the capabilities of our people.”

The group said its leaders reaffirmed in Tuesday’s meeting with Abbas that “resistance was the most efficient way to confront the occupation.”

Erdogan also held a bilateral meeting with Abbas on Tuesday, during which the Turkish leader promised to continue supporting the Palestinian cause and voiced concerns over the flare-up of violence in the West Bank in recent months.

“We will continue to support the Palestinian cause in the strongest way possible,” Erdogan said alongside Abbas.

“We are deeply worried about the increasing loss of lives, destruction, the expansion of illegal settlements and settlers violence,” the Turkish leader said.

Meanwhile, an official in the Palestinian presidency told AFP that the Cairo meeting will “discuss how to confront aggression against the Palestinian people,” especially from the extremist Israeli administration, and “to strengthen Palestinian unity.”

Since early last year, the occupied territories have seen increased violence by Israeli settlers and troops against Palestinians.

Earlier this month, Israeli forces conducted a two-day raid on the Jenin refugee camp, razing swathes of the area, and killing 12 Palestinians, including children

The raid on Jenin was one of the biggest operations carried out by the Israeli military in the West Bank in years.

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