Ayten Erdil forced to resign CDU executive position for calling Israel’s attacks on Palestinians ‘crimes against humanity’.
A German-Turkish politician was forced to resign her executive role in the ruling party’s Berlin branch on Tuesday after criticizing Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.
Ayten Erdil, a member of the Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) executive committee in Berlin sharply criticized Israeli authorities on Facebook on Monday after Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex and attacked Palestinian worshippers inside the holy site.
“It’s not anti-Semitism when one calls these perpetrators and crimes by their name, [these are] crimes against humanity,” said Erdil.
The CDU’s Berlin branch released a statement that said the comments do not reflect the views of the Christian Democrats.
“We clearly distance ourselves from this statement, and we have also talked to her. She has resigned from her position in the executive committee with immediate effect,” it said.
Recent weeks have seen a sharp rise in tensions and violence in the occupied West Bank, particularly in East Jerusalem because of the evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Israeli settlers.
Israeli security forces used disproportionate force on Friday and Monday against demonstrators and also attacked worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque — the third holiest Muslim site — by firing rubber-coated bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, wounding hundreds.
At least 915 Palestinians have been injured from May 7-10 in East Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
Palestinian armed groups fired a volley of rockets into southern Israel, while the Israeli military conducted airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there illegal.
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.