Turkey’s Erdogan Condemns Israel’s Settlement Push as Provocation

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the members of parliament during a debate at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, on November 13, 2009. Turkey's parliament is set to discuss details of a plan to give wider rights to Kurds, including allowing them to restore Kurdish names to their towns. …
ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty

(REUTERS) — Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday condemned Israel’s decision to ramp up settlements in the West Bank as an “absolute provocation”.

Israel announced plans last month for 3,000 more settlement homes in the occupied West Bank. It has also retroactively legalized about 4,000 settlement homes built on privately owned Palestinian land, a move that brought condemnation from the United Nations and the European Union.

Erdogan made the comment in a speech in Bahrain, while on an official visit. His comments were carried live on Turkish television. Turkey and Israel normalized ties last year after a six-year rupture when 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed by Israeli commandos enforcing a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

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