(September 26, 2019 / JNS) Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Thursday evening called out Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and called on the United Nations to designate Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as terrorist groups.
“The other day I heard Erdoğan attack Israel, and I want to say to him: You that brutally oppress the Turkish people, slaughter the Kurdish minority and support the terror organization Hamas,” said Katz in his speech at the annual U.N. General Assembly. “You are the last one that can lecture Israel. You are not the sultan, and Turkey is not the Ottoman Empire. Shame on you.”
In his UNGA speech on Tuesday, Erdoğan compared Jews in Europe during World War II to the situation in the Gaza Strip.
“The immediate establishment of an independent Palestinian state with homogeneous territories, on the basis of the 1967 borders with east[ern] Jerusalem as its capital, is the only solution,” he said.
In his speech, Katz said, “The main problem threatening stability and security in the Middle East is Iran, which threatens to destroy Israel, and works against the regimes of many countries in the region. Iran uses its proxy terror organizations—Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen and Shi’ite militias in Syria and Iraq—against Israel, and also against other states in the Middle East.”
As an example, Katz cited the Sept. 14 Iranian attack on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities.
In calling on the international community to confront the Iranian threat, Katz said that the United Nations “must declare” Hezbollah and the IRGC as terrorist groups.
Finally, Katz remarked that the Mideast provides “opportunities for cooperation and advancing the economy of all countries,” including those in the Persian Gulf with whom Israel has recently cultivated ties amid the Iranian threat.
For example, he said Israel created the “Tracks for Regional Peace initiative” to “connect the Arab Gulf States by rail through Jordan to the Israeli ports in Haifa.”
“It will provide them a faster, shorter and safer outlet to the Mediterranean,” continued Katz. “We are also going to connect the Palestinian Authority to this project, and this will boost their economy.”
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