Home > European Union, Palestinian Authority, Turkey, United Kingdom > British PM in Turkey calls Gaza a ‘prison camp’

British PM in Turkey calls Gaza a ‘prison camp’

ANKARA (WJC)–Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron  has indirectly attacked Israel by saying that Gaza was currently like a “prison camp.”

During a visit to Turkey, he also harshly criticized Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in which nine Turkish activists were killed at the end of May. Addressing reporters in Ankara, he said: “The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable.” In a reference to the blockade of the Gaza Strip, he said: “‘The situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.”

However, Cameron also urged Turkey not to allow the incident to wreck its relationship with Israel. On the flotilla raid, the UK prime minister – who heads a coalition government with the center-left Liberal Democrats – declared: ‘I have told Prime Minister Netanyahu we will expect the Israeli inquiry to be swift, transparent and rigorous.”

Cameron expressed hope that direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians would take place within the coming weeks and urged Turkey to press the parties to come together by ”making the case for peace”. He said: ”Turkey’s relationships in the region, both with Israel and with the Arab world, are of incalculable value. No other country has the same potential to build understanding between Israel and the Arab world. I know that Gaza has led to real strains in Turkey’s relationship with Israel. ‘But Turkey is a friend of Israel.”

The British leader also expressed strong support for Turkey’s membership in the European Union, which remains controversial.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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