Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit out at the collective West for inaction amid what he said was an ongoing “massacre in Palestine,” adding that the Israeli government is behaving like a “spoiled child” in its response to Hamas’ cross-border attack on October 7.
Speaking at a joint Arab-Islamic summit in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Saturday, Erdogan accused Western nations of double standards and highlighted what he sees as contrasts in their responses to other global conflicts. He added that “the Israeli government is acting like the spoiled child of the West, and it has to compensate for the damages that it causes.”
“It is a shame that Western countries, always a voice for human rights and freedoms, remain silent on the massacre in Palestine,” Erdogan said, according to the Anadolu news agency. “We are faced with unprecedented barbarism in history, where hospitals, schools, and refugee camps are bombed and civilians are massacred.”
Saturday’s emergency summit at which the Turkish leader spoke was jointly organized by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as representatives of the Arab and Islamic world convened to discuss the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
In his comments, Erdogan added that Western countries “are not even making a call for a ceasefire to Israel.” On Thursday, US President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House that he currently sees “no possibility” for a ceasefire in Gaza, arguing that this would only benefit Hamas.
Erdogan also stressed the importance of supplying fuel to places in urgent need in Gaza, particularly hospitals, and said that Türkiye will provide ten flights of essential supplies to El Arish airport in Egypt to be dispatched to Gaza. He also suggested the establishment of an OIC fund to help with the rebuilding of Gaza, saying that Türkiye would provide comprehensive support.
Israel has launched an unprecedented military bombardment of the densely-populated Gaza enclave in retaliation for Hamas’ assault on its territory last month and as part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resultant pledge to destroy Hamas. Israeli officials said on Friday that about 1,200 of its citizens –mostly civilians– died in the attack, revising downwards its prior estimates.
In excess of 11,000 people have died in more than four weeks of artillery and airstrikes in Gaza, Palestinian health officials have said, with about 40% of them children.
Independent aid organizations have also warned of a deepening humanitarian crisis as vital supplies dwindle and more and more people seek medical treatment in a health system already over capacity