Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the United Nations “collapsed” when faced with Israeli security forces killing more than 60 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during protests earlier this week.
Speaking on Wednesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, Erdogan described the UN as “finished” because of its lack of response to Israel’s continued use of deadly force against demonstrators in the besieged coastal enclave.
On Monday, Israeli forces killed more than 60 Palestinian protesters along Gaza’s fence with Israel as tens of thousands of people rallied as part of the Great March of Return, and against the opening of a new US embassy in Jerusalem.
More than 2,700 others were wounded as soldiers fired live ammunition and tear gas at those who had assembled.
Erdogan accused Israel of “tyranny” and said Turkey would evacuate those injured from Gaza, where hospital facilities are reportedly at a breaking point.
Israel maintains its forces use of live fire is in line with both domestic and international law, arguing the demonstrations are part of the country’s conflict with Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.
A number of international leaders, however, have denounced Israel’s use of force.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Israel was “blasphemous” in referring to protesters killed along the Gaza border as “terrorists”.
“I cannot agree with the fact that dozens of peaceful civilians, including children and infants who were killed in these incidents, were terrorists. This is a blasphemous statement,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.
Since last month, the Israeli army has killed 111 Palestinians and wounded more than 12,000 others.
Lavrov’s comments follow Turkey and South Africa’s decision to recall their ambassadors to Israel earlier this week. Ankara has also expelled Israel’s ambassador to Turkey temporarily.