ANKARA – Palestinians wounded by Israeli security forces during Monday’s anti-occupation protests in Gaza would be treated in Turkey, the country’s health minister said on Tuesday.
“We will receive the wounded from Gaza first in Ankara. We have prepared our hospitals according to the conditions of the wounded,” minister Ahmet Demircan said.
The ministry was co-operating with the Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Turkish Armed forces, where all preparations are in place to establish an air corridor to transfer the wounded in Gaza to Turkey.
The minister further noted that those with the most severe injuries would be prioritised.
Thousands of Palestinians gathered on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border since early Monday morning to take part in mass rallies to commemorate the Nakba and protest the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 61 Palestinian demonstrators were killed by Israeli forces in one of the deadliest single-day massacres in the country’s history.
Meanwhile, Turkey urged Islamic countries to review their ties with Israel and said it would call an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on May 18.
Serving as the OIC president, Turkey convened in December 2017 the countries of the organization to coordinate a response to the transfer of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in violation of the United Nations resolutions on the status of the city.\
The summit declared East Jerusalem – which the international community regards as annexed by Israel – “as the capital of the State of Palestine” and urged the world to follow suit.
East Jerusalem is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law.
The Organization for Islamic Cooperation is the second largest intergovernmental platform in the world, following the United Nations, and has 57 member states in four continents. Its objective is to safeguard the interests of the Muslim world by promoting peace and international harmony among different peoples of the world.
Ankara has also told Israel’s ambassador to leave the country. Eitan Naeh was summoned to the foreign ministry in Ankara on Tuesday and was asked to leave over the deaths at the Gaza border.
Naeh has served in the position since October 2015.
Turkey maintains full trade and diplomatic links with Israel after a 2016 reconciliation deal ended a dispute over the deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos.
Ankara is also recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel for consultations in the wake of the events.