Palestine will continue to be subjected to massacre as long as the global community does not punish Israel, Turkey's President Erdogan tells Pope Francis in phone call, as death toll in blockaded Gaza soars to 200.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Pope Francis that the international community must impose sanctions on Israel for its brutal violence on the Palestinians, urging the pontiff to keep speaking about the ongoing onslaught on Palestine, Erdogan's office said.
Erdogan told Pope Francis the international community should "teach Israel the deterrent lesson it deserves".
"Erdogan...underlined that Palestinians would continue to be subjected to massacre as long as the international community did not punish Israel – which is committing humanitarian crimes – with sanctions," it said in a statement.
Erdogan also "emphasised that the continued messages from Pope Francis carried great importance in mobilising the Christian world and international community," it said.
"Apart from blocking access to the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, restricting the freedom of worship, killing innocent civilians in the Palestinian lands, violating the human dignity," Erdogan said, adding the occupying Israel is also endangering regional security.
Nearly 200 killed in Gaza
Israeli bombardments on Gaza, that Israel has blockaded since 2007 from land, air and sea, has killed nearly 200 Palestinians, many of them children and women.
Ten people have been killed in Israel by the retaliatory rockets in the past week.
Turkey has condemned the violence and accused Israel of carrying out "ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing".
Pope Francis on Sunday said mounting casualties from the conflict were "unacceptable."
"Let us pray constantly that the Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness. Let us pray for the victims, in particular for the children; let us pray for peace," he said.
Let us pray constantly that the Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness. Let us pray for the victims, in particular for the children; let us pray for peace.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) May 16, 2021
Palestine calls for intervention
Also on Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh called upon the international community to intervene in the spiralling violence in the Middle East, saying Israel was committing "one of the biggest crimes punishable by the international law."
Speaking to Palestinian ministers in Ramallah Shtayyeh said, "Israel cannot combine its occupation and crimes against us with having peace and security for free."
He spoke after Israeli warplanes unleashed a new series of heavy air strikes at several locations in besieged Gaza early on Monday, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signalled the fourth war with Gaza's governors Hamas would rage on.
Continued oppression on Palestine areas
Israel's attacks on blockaded Gaza follow spiking tensions in occupied East Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Israeli police deployed heavy-handed tactics against Palestinian worshippers in and around Al Aqsa Mosque in the last week of the holy month.
Another flashpoint in recent days has been a court case that could end with Palestinian families expelled from occupied East Jerusalem homes in Sheikh Jarrah claimed by illegal Jewish settlers.
That aggression forced Hamas to take military action against Israel, many analysts say.
Since then, the Israeli military has launched hundreds of air strikes that it says are targeting Hamas members.
At least 198 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes, including 58 children and 35 women, with 1,300 people wounded, according to the Gaza's Health Ministry.
At least 10 people in Israel have been killed in rocket attacks launched from Gaza, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.