Turkey’s top officials on Sunday slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks on annexing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if re-elected.
“Yet another example of how Netanyahu uses electoral politics to justify occupation and undermine the two-state solution,” presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter.
“If he is re-elected, will this be a triumph of ‘democracy’ or occupation?” Kalin asked.
“Will western democracies react or will they keep appeasing?” he said, adding: “Shame on them all!”
Netanyahu vowed to annex the occupied West Bank if he wins the general election which is slated for April 9.
He said in an interview with Israeli television: “We will ensure that we are in charge on the ground. And we will impose sovereignty over the settlements in Judea and Samaria [West Bank].”
Writing also on Twitter, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu recalled that West Bank is a “Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in violation of int’l law.”
“Netanyahu’s irresponsible statement to seek votes just before the Israeli general elections cannot and will not change this fact,” Cavusoglu said.
Roughly 650,000 Jewish settlers currently live on more than 100 settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.
The Palestinians, for their part, want both these territories — along with the Gaza Strip — for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.