Monday, February 28, 2011

'Israel leading human rights abusers'
Tue Mar 1, 2011 7:0AM
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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the Israeli regime is at the “very top of the list” when it comes to human rights violations.

“In case a list was made for countries with most violations of human rights, Israel would be on top of that list,” Anatolia news agency quoted Davutoglu as saying on Monday at Ankara's Esenboga International Airport prior to a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Davutoglu also described the attack launched by Israeli forces on a Turkish aid ship bound for the besieged Gaza Strip as “an attack on a civilian convoy that violated all human rights and principles.”

He also pointed out that he would submit a report about the raid on March 21, when the UN Human Rights Council convenes for the next meeting.

The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people that were part of a group of relief workers and activists on the six-ship convoy.

Israel also arrested and later released nearly 700 activists from 42 countries that were on board the ships of the Freedom Flotilla, which was attempting to break the siege of Gaza to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian relief aid to the long-suffering people of the territory.

Meanwhile, the Turkish minister rapped the United States for its recent veto of a UN resolution that called for a cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

”You can't expect Israel to take the necessary steps for peace at the negotiation table if other countries refuse to criticize it,” Davutoglu said.

The remarks come as the Israeli regime has been persistently proceeding with the construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The United Nation has repeatedly condemned Tel Aviv for defying international calls to halt its settlement construction activities.

Palestinians view Israel's unrelenting settlement construction activities as a major hurdle in efforts to establish an independent state on the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

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