ANKARA, December 3. /TASS/. Israel’s actions aimed at occupying the Gaza Strip and its attacks on the enclave’s civilian population cannot be viewed as self-defense, Spokesperson for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oncu Keceli said.
"At the core of the current problem lies Israeli occupation, as well as its expansionist mentality and repressive actions that completely ignores law, human rights and universal principles. Brute force against an entire civilian population by an occupying power cannot be legitimized as self-defense," he said in response to a social media message posted by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
Keceli added that the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shows that "the more Israel oppresses Palestinians and destroys their basic freedoms, the more resistance it will face as many more Palestinians will continue to seek the realization of their collective and individual rights."
Earlier, Cohen claimed that Israel was ready to "free Gaza from Hamas for its safety and better future for the people of the region," adding that "after the war in Gaza there will be no Hamas." The Israeli foreign minister suggested that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted in his country members of Palestine’s radical Hamas movement who "aren't eliminated and flee from Gaza."
The Turkish leader told reporters that he does not view Hamas as a terrorist organization and was not planning to review his attitude in the future.