By Muhammet İkbal Arslan
LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) – Turkish Cypriot leaders on Tuesday condemned Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and on Palestinians.
President Ersin Tatar extended condolences to Palestinians who lost their lives in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza strip and said he hopes the international community takes action without delay to end the attacks as soon as possible.
“Stating that the Turkish Cypriot people always stand by the oppressed Palestinians, I would like to take this opportunity to say once again how important is the support of Turkey, the mother country and guarantor country, to the TRNC," he said in a statement.
Prime Minister Ersan Saner underlined in a separate statement that the world should take action to stop Israel and as usual, the people of the TRNC stand by Palestinians.
“Although a UN peacekeeping force served on the island between 1963 and 1974, the Turkish Cypriot people experienced similar events due to the Greek Cypriots,” he said, referrig to ethnic violence against Turkish Cypriots.
“We appreciate the struggle of motherland Turkey for Palestine's cause and wish success in the name of humanity and peace.”
Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem since last week when Israeli settlers swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the evictions of Palestinian families.
Palestinians protesting in solidarity with residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.
The death toll from attacks in the Gaza Strip rose to 28, with 152 wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognized by the international community.