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Turkey discussed Gaza with Egypt, Jordan -Turkish source

smoke rises from gaza, as seen from southern israel
Smoke rises from Gaza, as seen from southern Israel, November 5, 2023. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan discussed the situation in Gaza and the need for an urgent ceasefire there with his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts in separate calls on Sunday, a Turkish diplomatic source said.

Turkey, which has sharply escalated its criticism of Israel as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has intensified, supports a two-state solution.

The country also hosts members of Palestinian militant group Hamas, which unlike the United States, the European Union, and some Gulf states it does not view as a terrorist organisation.

Fidan exchanged views with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on steps that can be taken to “stop attacks targeting the civilian population in Gaza” and to achieve an urgent ceasefire, the source added.

Fidan and Shoukry also discussed efforts to guarantee the unimpeded and continuous provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the source said.

Ankara has repeatedly accused Israel of targeting civilians, committing war crimes, and violating international law.

Israel says it is targeting Hamas, not civilians, and that the Islamist group is using residents as human shields.

Speaking in the Black Sea province of Rize, President Tayyip Erdogan said it was Turkey’s duty to stop “the massacre in Gaza” and hold Israel accountable.

“It is our responsibility to save our Palestinian brothers, sisters from Israel’s cruelty, to stop the massacre in Gaza. It is our duty to grab the collars of murderers,” he said.

“Rest assured, we are doing much more than what is seen about what is happening in Gaza, and we will continue to do so. We will not leave our siblings in Gaza unattended, hopeless,” he said, without elaborating.

Turkey had previously said it was in talks with Hamas on the release of hostages it captured on its Oct. 7 assault on Israel, but it has not disclosed any progress on that effort publicly. Ankara has also sent more than 200 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Egypt for Gazans.

On Monday, Fidan will meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ankara for talks on Gaza.

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