Turkey condemns Israel’s shutting down of Hebron observers

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Turkey’s Foreign Ministry “decisively” rejected Israel’s claims that the group was working against Israel and accused Israel of using these claims as rationalisation for its decision.

Turkish Foreign Ministry
Turkish Foreign Ministry “decisively” rejected Israel’s claims that the group was working against Israel. (AA)

Turkey on Friday “strongly” condemned Israel’s unilateral termination of a group of international observers in the West Bank town of Hebron.

“We strongly condemn Israel’s unilateral termination of the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), the multilateral observation mission in Hebron, Palestine,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement urging reversal of the decision.

The ministry “decisively” rejected Israel’s claims that the group was working against Israel and accused Israel of using these claims as the rationalisation for its decision.

“The TIPH, in which observers from Turkey have participated since it started operations in 1997, has made valuable contributions to easing the tension in Hebron under Israeli occupation,” the ministry added.

The circumstances in Hebron leading to the establishment of the TIPH still exist, the ministry said.

“Within this context, it is clear that the termination of the TIPH does not end Israel’s accountability or its obligations under international law, first and foremost from the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added, calling on the international community to guarantee Israel’s compliance with these obligations.

The ministry said Turkey supports a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine and “will continue to closely monitor the situation in Hebron with this understanding.”

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