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Position of Turkey in the Israel HAMAS conflict: great purports of Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan

photo: haber7.net
20 November 2023
Amur GadzhiyevAmur Gadzhiyev

Amur Gadzhiyev

Candidate of historical sciences, CISS expert

On October 7, 2023 the Palestinian movement HAMAS launched the «Al-Aqsa Flood» operation against Israel. After conducting a rocket attack unprecedented in scale the organizations fighters penetrated into the border areas in the South of the Israeli state and captured hostages. In response the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) declared the operation «Iron Swords» against HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. Within several days the Israeli military established control over all the populated points near the border with Gaza and began to deliver air strikes against the targets, including civilian ones, in the sectors territory. Israel also declared full blockade of Gaza: supplies of water, food products, electricity, medicines, fuel were shut down.

By now the number of victims in the Gaza Strip exceeded 13.3 thousand people, including more than 9 thousand women and children. More than 31 thousand citizens were wounded, 75% of them were women and children. On the Israeli side over 1.2 thousand people died. According to various data, HAMAS may hold captive about 150 Israelis. 20 of 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were closed down. Institutions ran out of fuel, medicines and other goods of prime necessity. In the largest hospital of the Gaza Strip Al-Shifa Israel is conducting «precise and targeted operation». The authorities of the Jewish state insist that the complex is used by the HAMAS militants as a command center and a storehouse of weapons.

Reaction of international community

In response to Israels actions in Gaza international community called upon the Jewish state to the «immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities». This, in particular, was said in the resolution supported by the UN General Assembly which was proposed by Jordan on behalf of 22 Arab states. The document also contains an appeal to «immediate, full, sustained, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East».

Besides, the said resolution calls for establishing humanitarian corridors to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, to provide immediate, continuous, sufficient and unhindered provision of essential goods and services to the enclave, including water, food, medical supplies, fuel and electricity. Besides, the resolution calls for preventing «any attempts at the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population», as well as for rescinding of the order by Israel for Palestinian civilians to evacuate all areas in the Gaza Strip north to the South. The document also emphasizes the need to exercise restraint to prevent further destabilization of the situation in the Near East. However, Secretary-General of the United Nations Antnio Guterres abstained from condemning Israel in connection with its strikes on the civilian targets in Gaza and in fact took «a politically motivated position».

Proposal of a system of guarantors

Under the conditions of a rather restrained position of the world community on the current aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict attention is drawn to the active efforts of Turkey aimed at resolving current problems mainly related to humanitarian aspects and at comprehensive Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

Thus, on October 17 Turkey put forward an idea to create a system of guarantors for the sides in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. With this, Ankara believes that the states that will act as guarantors, especially for the Palestinian side, should be from the Near East region. According to the Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Turkey is ready to act as the guarantor country for Palestine if a peaceful agreement is reached. However, the Turkish side did not specify what mechanisms will be used to ensure guarantees. Israel, one way or another, has military options to resolve the Palestinian problem. The issue whether the Turkish initiative of a system of guarantors envisages rendering military support to Palestine if Tel-Aviv violates the provisions of the future peace agreement remains open.

In our view, the system of guarantors proposed by Turkey may prove effective, but only in the case it is backed up by elements of deterrence. However, if the afore-said system is merely a declaration what countries are vested with the status of a guarantor of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, without any real mechanisms, this initiative is doomed to failure. But if the guarantor countries send troops to the region and so back up their commitments by a real military presence thus providing protection of Palestinians against new attacks by Israel [and, actually, protecting the Israelis against the new escalation of the conflict], such a system may be effective. All the more so that there are substantial grounds to believe that the Turkish initiative of creating a system of guarantors is based on Ankaras experience gained both during the Cyprus settlement and in the context of the Syrian peaceful process launched in the Astana format.

But on the other side, it may be fraught with a sharp regional arms race and, as a consequence, destabilization of situation. Regionalization of the Near East problem and division of countries into those that support Israel and into those that support Palestine may have unpredictable negative consequences for security and stability.

It is obvious that within the framework of the proposed system of guarantors Turkey, among other things, tries to enhance its role in this process and assume a certain responsibility. But, given Turkish support to Sunni groups in Syria, there are reasonable apprehensions that it will not be a step towards settlement, but a step back towards escalation of the conflict. It is unclear how Iran, one of HAMAS main allies, will respond for HAMAS today is what unites Iran with Qatar with which Turkey, in turn, has special relations and where the Turkish military base is located.

Western policy of double standards

On October 27 Israel stated an intention to extend the army operation in Gaza. The world stood still expecting a full-scale land battle. On October 29 Tel-Aviv sent troops and tanks to the northern part of the Gaza Strip. It was reported that the operation may last from six weeks to half a year. Soon it became clear that the Israeli army chose a more cautious approach instead of mass invasion. It was declared that the goal of the operation is the «complete elimination of HAMAS». According to the officials, Israel wants to exclude the situation in which the Gaza Strip is a «source of anti-Israeli violence».

Israels allies, including the USA, demanded scenarios of consequences that the IDF ground operation may provoke. US media reported with reference to the officials that Israel suspended plans of a large-scale ground operation in Gaza and replaced them with several limited ones. Such decision was taken as agreed upon with Washington. It was noted that western leaders did not try to dissuade Israeli authorities from a ground operation during contacts with them. Against this background US appeals to Israel [IDF declared the goal of complete elimination of HAMAS] to place special emphasis on minimizing victims among the peaceful Palestinian population and to abstain from long-term occupation of the enclave sounded rather cynical. Simultaneously, Washington and Tel-Aviv began discussing possible creation of an interim government in the territory of the Palestinian enclave.

Turkish analysts and experts characterized these American actions as another demonstration of western double standards and drew attention to one-side and unfair approaches of the USA to the Palestinian problem. They believe that for what is now happening in the Gaza Strip the main guilt lies with the USA. The UN Security Council back in 1947 adopted a resolution on dividing Palestine and creating two states Jewish and Arab. However, in the past decades this decision, in the opinion of Turkish experts, was fulfilled only in a one-sided and very unfair manner. Israel received all possible help and support, above all, by the USA, but the Palestinians were driven into a sort of reservation.

Turkish mass media periodically publish maps of gradual reduction of Palestines territory first demonstrated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan at the 74-th session of the UN General Assembly in 2019. It was stated that throughout the whole period of its existence Israel illegally occupied Palestinian lands by building their settlements. It was quite often happening with direct support and sometimes with tacit consent of the USA. Turkish specialists arrived at the conclusion that «American approaches to the Palestinian problem are a graphic demonstration of double standards by the West».

On November 8 the European Commission published a report on the EU expansion strategy for 2023 and reports on all the candidate countries, including Turkey. The said document contained a number of rude anti-Turkish invectives and absolutely biased assessments. In particular, it said that Ankaras position with relation to the Israel-HAMAS conflict is incompatible with the policy of the European Union on this issue. Turkish Foreign Ministry responded to the criticism stating that it considers it as a compliment because it believes that in the case of the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation it was the EU namely that had taken the wrong position hinting at double standards in Brussels assessments with regard to the conflicts in Europe and in the Near East.

Demonstration of Turkish displeasure with the USA

Turkey quite clearly showed its displeasure with Washington in connection with the US Near East policy in the context of aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during the visit to Ankara by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on November 5-6 this year. The American State Secretary was obviously not welcome there both on the public and on the official level. On these days mass protests were held in Turkey against the USA and its role in the aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Antony Blinken was cold-shouldered already at the airport when he just stepped off the airstairs. Nobody of the Turkeys top leadership was there to meet him. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan gave the Secretary of State a chilly reception and even deliberately evaded a friendly embrace.

Turkey known for its hospitality for the first time met a high-ranking American guest so expressly uncordially. According to analysts, the reason for such behavior of Erdoǧans team can be found in numerous Turkish-American contradictions related to a large extent exactly to the Near East region. Differences of the parties in their approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were expected. All the more so that two weeks before Antony Blinken had not deemed it necessary to visit Ankara while making a visit to the region and trying to act as an intermediary in the conflict settlement. This was perceived negatively in Turkey. In point of fact, Turkish-American relations have long failed to correspond to the allied spirit.

Turkey sees that Washington has no intention to take Ankara as an equal partner having its own point of view, deserving respect. Such state of affairs cannot be suitable for the present Turkish leadership which is inclined towards the system of a polycentric world. Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan, one of the key figures in the Muslim world, could not stand on the side-lines when his co-religionists are being destroyed in Palestine. Having gathered a one million-strong rally in Istanbul he spoke about defending peaceful Palestinian population which Israel now subjects to sever bombardment. It is not incidental that Turkish rallies in support of Palestinians quickly grew into furious protests against the US base in Injirlik. It is obvious that the longer the Israeli operation in Gaza is continued, the more discontent it will cause in the Muslim world which can pass over to concrete actions and not only against Israel, but against the USA too.

President Erdoǧans «global initiative»

On November 7, 2023 Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan stated the intention to launch a «global initiative» on Gaza. Under this initiative the Turkish President was supposed to hold a number of meetings with various world and regional leaders. It is noteworthy that the Turkish Presidents statement was voiced practically on the eve of an extraordinary joint summit of the League of Arab States (LAS) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Riyadh on November 11. According to analysts, this can mean that in view of the policy of double standards pursued by western countries and their refusal to support Turkish peaceful initiatives R.T. Erdoǧan intends to place emphasis on the countries of the Near East and Islamic world. If he manages to put his ideas into practice through the «global initiative» contacts with the support of leaders of a number of LAS and OIC countries, this will definitely become a personal diplomatic and political triumph for Erdoǧan.

According to the forecasts, efforts applied by Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan may result in the appearance of a group of countries able to exert certain pressure on Tel-Aviv for the purpose of ceasefire. The majority of Turkish observers believe that collective sanctions against Israel on the use of infrastructure for delivery of cargoes to the territory of the Jewish state, for instance, could be quite effective. One of the primary objectives Erdoǧan would like to attain with the use of the «global initiative» is to compel Israel to recognize Palestine and to begin talks on the basis of the «two-state formula».

Convergence of Moscows and Ankaras approaches to settlement of Palestinian-Israeli conflict

One of the first world leaders Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan called after the aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. During the telephone conversation held on October 10 both sides expressed concern over the escalation of violence, disastrous growth of the number of victims among the civilian population. Emphasis was placed on immediate ceasefire by the IDF and HAMAS and on renewal of the negotiations process. The sides expressed mutual readiness to actively contribute to it. It was underscored that long-term peaceful resolution of the Near East crisis is possible exclusively on the basis of the «two-state formula» approved by the UN Security Council that provides for the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the boundaries of 1967 with the capital in East Jerusalem.

Therefore, Russia and Turkey share similar positions on a number of aspects of Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Both Moscow and Ankara alike believe that the major cause of the conflict that has already lasted several decades is that the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and creation of an independent state has never been implemented up till now. This state should be territorially integrated and not divided as now into the West bank of the Jordan river and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian state should have its capital in East Jerusalem as was directed by the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Views of Moscow and Ankara also coincide in the fact that the main culprit of this conflict is the West which had created such security system in the region that actually plays off Israelis and Palestinians against each other without opportunity to resolve the matter peacefully and fairly. In the opinion of Russia and Turkey, the United States has lately tried to monopolize the Near East settlement and substitute it for various new deals. Both sides equally expressed bewilderment over a sharp increase of a grouping of combat aircraft and helicopters of the US Air Force in the Jewish state, as well as the appearance of the American aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford at the Israeli coastline.

Moscow and Ankara share the opinion that the formats HAMAS is using to achieve its end are impermissible. But the methods Israel resorts to when conducting hostilities indiscriminately in such a way that a large number of peaceful citizens perish as a result are also impermissible. Moscow and Ankara call upon Tel-Aviv not to carry out a total mopping-up operation in the Gaza Strip with mass victims among the peaceful population and to sit down at the negotiations table and resolve all issues including those pertaining to the security of Israel itself by the diplomatic means.

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Publications

Position of Turkey in the Israel HAMAS conflict: great purports of Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan

photo: haber7.net
20 2023
Amur Gadzhiyev

Amur Gadzhiyev

Candidate of historical sciences, CISS expert

On October 7, 2023 the Palestinian movement HAMAS launched the «Al-Aqsa Flood» operation against Israel. After conducting a rocket attack unprecedented in scale the organizations fighters penetrated into the border areas in the South of the Israeli state and captured hostages. In response the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) declared the operation «Iron Swords» against HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. Within several days the Israeli military established control over all the populated points near the border with Gaza and began to deliver air strikes against the targets, including civilian ones, in the sectors territory. Israel also declared full blockade of Gaza: supplies of water, food products, electricity, medicines, fuel were shut down.

By now the number of victims in the Gaza Strip exceeded 13.3 thousand people, including more than 9 thousand women and children. More than 31 thousand citizens were wounded, 75% of them were women and children. On the Israeli side over 1.2 thousand people died. According to various data, HAMAS may hold captive about 150 Israelis. 20 of 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were closed down. Institutions ran out of fuel, medicines and other goods of prime necessity. In the largest hospital of the Gaza Strip Al-Shifa Israel is conducting «precise and targeted operation». The authorities of the Jewish state insist that the complex is used by the HAMAS militants as a command center and a storehouse of weapons.

Reaction of international community

In response to Israels actions in Gaza international community called upon the Jewish state to the «immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities». This, in particular, was said in the resolution supported by the UN General Assembly which was proposed by Jordan on behalf of 22 Arab states. The document also contains an appeal to «immediate, full, sustained, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East».

Besides, the said resolution calls for establishing humanitarian corridors to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, to provide immediate, continuous, sufficient and unhindered provision of essential goods and services to the enclave, including water, food, medical supplies, fuel and electricity. Besides, the resolution calls for preventing «any attempts at the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population», as well as for rescinding of the order by Israel for Palestinian civilians to evacuate all areas in the Gaza Strip north to the South. The document also emphasizes the need to exercise restraint to prevent further destabilization of the situation in the Near East. However, Secretary-General of the United Nations Antnio Guterres abstained from condemning Israel in connection with its strikes on the civilian targets in Gaza and in fact took «a politically motivated position».

Proposal of a system of guarantors

Under the conditions of a rather restrained position of the world community on the current aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict attention is drawn to the active efforts of Turkey aimed at resolving current problems mainly related to humanitarian aspects and at comprehensive Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

Thus, on October 17 Turkey put forward an idea to create a system of guarantors for the sides in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. With this, Ankara believes that the states that will act as guarantors, especially for the Palestinian side, should be from the Near East region. According to the Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Turkey is ready to act as the guarantor country for Palestine if a peaceful agreement is reached. However, the Turkish side did not specify what mechanisms will be used to ensure guarantees. Israel, one way or another, has military options to resolve the Palestinian problem. The issue whether the Turkish initiative of a system of guarantors envisages rendering military support to Palestine if Tel-Aviv violates the provisions of the future peace agreement remains open.

In our view, the system of guarantors proposed by Turkey may prove effective, but only in the case it is backed up by elements of deterrence. However, if the afore-said system is merely a declaration what countries are vested with the status of a guarantor of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, without any real mechanisms, this initiative is doomed to failure. But if the guarantor countries send troops to the region and so back up their commitments by a real military presence thus providing protection of Palestinians against new attacks by Israel [and, actually, protecting the Israelis against the new escalation of the conflict], such a system may be effective. All the more so that there are substantial grounds to believe that the Turkish initiative of creating a system of guarantors is based on Ankaras experience gained both during the Cyprus settlement and in the context of the Syrian peaceful process launched in the Astana format.

But on the other side, it may be fraught with a sharp regional arms race and, as a consequence, destabilization of situation. Regionalization of the Near East problem and division of countries into those that support Israel and into those that support Palestine may have unpredictable negative consequences for security and stability.

It is obvious that within the framework of the proposed system of guarantors Turkey, among other things, tries to enhance its role in this process and assume a certain responsibility. But, given Turkish support to Sunni groups in Syria, there are reasonable apprehensions that it will not be a step towards settlement, but a step back towards escalation of the conflict. It is unclear how Iran, one of HAMAS main allies, will respond for HAMAS today is what unites Iran with Qatar with which Turkey, in turn, has special relations and where the Turkish military base is located.

Western policy of double standards

On October 27 Israel stated an intention to extend the army operation in Gaza. The world stood still expecting a full-scale land battle. On October 29 Tel-Aviv sent troops and tanks to the northern part of the Gaza Strip. It was reported that the operation may last from six weeks to half a year. Soon it became clear that the Israeli army chose a more cautious approach instead of mass invasion. It was declared that the goal of the operation is the «complete elimination of HAMAS». According to the officials, Israel wants to exclude the situation in which the Gaza Strip is a «source of anti-Israeli violence».

Israels allies, including the USA, demanded scenarios of consequences that the IDF ground operation may provoke. US media reported with reference to the officials that Israel suspended plans of a large-scale ground operation in Gaza and replaced them with several limited ones. Such decision was taken as agreed upon with Washington. It was noted that western leaders did not try to dissuade Israeli authorities from a ground operation during contacts with them. Against this background US appeals to Israel [IDF declared the goal of complete elimination of HAMAS] to place special emphasis on minimizing victims among the peaceful Palestinian population and to abstain from long-term occupation of the enclave sounded rather cynical. Simultaneously, Washington and Tel-Aviv began discussing possible creation of an interim government in the territory of the Palestinian enclave.

Turkish analysts and experts characterized these American actions as another demonstration of western double standards and drew attention to one-side and unfair approaches of the USA to the Palestinian problem. They believe that for what is now happening in the Gaza Strip the main guilt lies with the USA. The UN Security Council back in 1947 adopted a resolution on dividing Palestine and creating two states Jewish and Arab. However, in the past decades this decision, in the opinion of Turkish experts, was fulfilled only in a one-sided and very unfair manner. Israel received all possible help and support, above all, by the USA, but the Palestinians were driven into a sort of reservation.

Turkish mass media periodically publish maps of gradual reduction of Palestines territory first demonstrated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan at the 74-th session of the UN General Assembly in 2019. It was stated that throughout the whole period of its existence Israel illegally occupied Palestinian lands by building their settlements. It was quite often happening with direct support and sometimes with tacit consent of the USA. Turkish specialists arrived at the conclusion that «American approaches to the Palestinian problem are a graphic demonstration of double standards by the West».

On November 8 the European Commission published a report on the EU expansion strategy for 2023 and reports on all the candidate countries, including Turkey. The said document contained a number of rude anti-Turkish invectives and absolutely biased assessments. In particular, it said that Ankaras position with relation to the Israel-HAMAS conflict is incompatible with the policy of the European Union on this issue. Turkish Foreign Ministry responded to the criticism stating that it considers it as a compliment because it believes that in the case of the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation it was the EU namely that had taken the wrong position hinting at double standards in Brussels assessments with regard to the conflicts in Europe and in the Near East.

Demonstration of Turkish displeasure with the USA

Turkey quite clearly showed its displeasure with Washington in connection with the US Near East policy in the context of aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during the visit to Ankara by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on November 5-6 this year. The American State Secretary was obviously not welcome there both on the public and on the official level. On these days mass protests were held in Turkey against the USA and its role in the aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Antony Blinken was cold-shouldered already at the airport when he just stepped off the airstairs. Nobody of the Turkeys top leadership was there to meet him. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan gave the Secretary of State a chilly reception and even deliberately evaded a friendly embrace.

Turkey known for its hospitality for the first time met a high-ranking American guest so expressly uncordially. According to analysts, the reason for such behavior of Erdoǧans team can be found in numerous Turkish-American contradictions related to a large extent exactly to the Near East region. Differences of the parties in their approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were expected. All the more so that two weeks before Antony Blinken had not deemed it necessary to visit Ankara while making a visit to the region and trying to act as an intermediary in the conflict settlement. This was perceived negatively in Turkey. In point of fact, Turkish-American relations have long failed to correspond to the allied spirit.

Turkey sees that Washington has no intention to take Ankara as an equal partner having its own point of view, deserving respect. Such state of affairs cannot be suitable for the present Turkish leadership which is inclined towards the system of a polycentric world. Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan, one of the key figures in the Muslim world, could not stand on the side-lines when his co-religionists are being destroyed in Palestine. Having gathered a one million-strong rally in Istanbul he spoke about defending peaceful Palestinian population which Israel now subjects to sever bombardment. It is not incidental that Turkish rallies in support of Palestinians quickly grew into furious protests against the US base in Injirlik. It is obvious that the longer the Israeli operation in Gaza is continued, the more discontent it will cause in the Muslim world which can pass over to concrete actions and not only against Israel, but against the USA too.

President Erdoǧans «global initiative»

On November 7, 2023 Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan stated the intention to launch a «global initiative» on Gaza. Under this initiative the Turkish President was supposed to hold a number of meetings with various world and regional leaders. It is noteworthy that the Turkish Presidents statement was voiced practically on the eve of an extraordinary joint summit of the League of Arab States (LAS) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Riyadh on November 11. According to analysts, this can mean that in view of the policy of double standards pursued by western countries and their refusal to support Turkish peaceful initiatives R.T. Erdoǧan intends to place emphasis on the countries of the Near East and Islamic world. If he manages to put his ideas into practice through the «global initiative» contacts with the support of leaders of a number of LAS and OIC countries, this will definitely become a personal diplomatic and political triumph for Erdoǧan.

According to the forecasts, efforts applied by Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan may result in the appearance of a group of countries able to exert certain pressure on Tel-Aviv for the purpose of ceasefire. The majority of Turkish observers believe that collective sanctions against Israel on the use of infrastructure for delivery of cargoes to the territory of the Jewish state, for instance, could be quite effective. One of the primary objectives Erdoǧan would like to attain with the use of the «global initiative» is to compel Israel to recognize Palestine and to begin talks on the basis of the «two-state formula».

Convergence of Moscows and Ankaras approaches to settlement of Palestinian-Israeli conflict

One of the first world leaders Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan called after the aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. During the telephone conversation held on October 10 both sides expressed concern over the escalation of violence, disastrous growth of the number of victims among the civilian population. Emphasis was placed on immediate ceasefire by the IDF and HAMAS and on renewal of the negotiations process. The sides expressed mutual readiness to actively contribute to it. It was underscored that long-term peaceful resolution of the Near East crisis is possible exclusively on the basis of the «two-state formula» approved by the UN Security Council that provides for the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the boundaries of 1967 with the capital in East Jerusalem.

Therefore, Russia and Turkey share similar positions on a number of aspects of Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Both Moscow and Ankara alike believe that the major cause of the conflict that has already lasted several decades is that the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and creation of an independent state has never been implemented up till now. This state should be territorially integrated and not divided as now into the West bank of the Jordan river and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian state should have its capital in East Jerusalem as was directed by the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Views of Moscow and Ankara also coincide in the fact that the main culprit of this conflict is the West which had created such security system in the region that actually plays off Israelis and Palestinians against each other without opportunity to resolve the matter peacefully and fairly. In the opinion of Russia and Turkey, the United States has lately tried to monopolize the Near East settlement and substitute it for various new deals. Both sides equally expressed bewilderment over a sharp increase of a grouping of combat aircraft and helicopters of the US Air Force in the Jewish state, as well as the appearance of the American aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford at the Israeli coastline.

Moscow and Ankara share the opinion that the formats HAMAS is using to achieve its end are impermissible. But the methods Israel resorts to when conducting hostilities indiscriminately in such a way that a large number of peaceful citizens perish as a result are also impermissible. Moscow and Ankara call upon Tel-Aviv not to carry out a total mopping-up operation in the Gaza Strip with mass victims among the peaceful population and to sit down at the negotiations table and resolve all issues including those pertaining to the security of Israel itself by the diplomatic means.