NGOs, institutions should establish cooperation group for Palestine: Turkish religious affairs head

NGOs, institutions should establish cooperation group for Palestine: Turkish religious affairs head

Protecting rights of those oppressed, tortured, massacred is duty of all, says Ali Erbas

By Sefa Sahin

ANKARA (AA) - Turkish non-governmental organizations and institutions that assist Palestine should establish a coordination group to accelerate the struggle against oppression, the head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate said Thursday.

Ali Erbas hosted a Non-Governmental Organizations Palestine Consultation Meeting and said protecting the rights of the oppressed subjected to oppression, torture and massacres is the duty of everyone.

"Once again, Jerusalem and what its people went through showed us that Jerusalem will not be saved from the occupation unless the Islamic ummah [community] takes concrete and decisive steps," said Erbas.

He said the only solution is for the ummah to come together and prevent oppression and occupation.

"The Jews who are just and conscientious and oppose persecution, are certainly not the subject of our reaction and words," he said. "It is essential that all individuals and institutions, especially non-governmental organizations, should act in cooperation with the world public opinion about the attacks on the Palestinian people."

The meeting was attended by representatives of Turkey's Diyanet Foundation (TDV), Turkey’s state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) and The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), as well as representatives from several foundations, associations and NGOs.

At least 230 Palestinians have been killed, including 65 children and 39 women, and more than 1,700 others injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since May 10, according to the Palestinian authorities.

Recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

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